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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 38 No. 22. September 11, 1975

Michael Boddy's 'Biggies' directed by John Banas

page 9

Michael Boddy's 'Biggies' directed by John Banas

The 'Salient' N.C.O. bunt into the room and stammered excitedly.

'What Ho!' I ejaculated, swiping the complementary ticket to Michael Boddy's satirical revue 'Biggles.'

From that moment I was led irreversibly (the gear lever was bally well playing up) into the world of the Performers' Theatre in Courtenay Place, on the site of an historic, but deceased, teeneybopperarium (slang for disco).

The revue is billed as being hilarious hut in fact it lumbered into the air, rose steadily if slowly during the first half, then lost altitude before making a right cock up or of landing. This seemed not to be the fault of any of the crew but rather in the speed attained by the machine. We must remember however that this was an early model, a few mods, might tighten things up and result in livelier performance.

Despite this the power of the performance is unlikely to increase. The first half is more directly a satire of Biggies and of 'public school culture." The audience is forced, under the watchful eye of the cane welding headmaster to render (meaning to tear apart?) 'Jerusalem', 'Land of Hope and Glory' and 'The ills of mas-turbation.' as part of the Malton school prize giving. At this stage the performance is hilarious and it is not difficult to detect the object of satire.

This cannot be said of the second half. The Cabaret is no more than The Cabaret' and satire fails if it does not distinguish itself from its object. A bore satirizing a bore is still boring. Not that 'Biggies' is boring in fact the Civil Defence contest and the Indecency arrest are distressingly apposite. The problem is in the position from which things are to be satarized, and the reason for the exercise. Satire may be a warning - the wise man with his house on the rock warning the fool on the sand. It may be a luxury - the wise man laughing with his friends about the fool. But when the man with his house on the sand becomes satirical - is not this a vanity, a vexation to the spirit?