News National The Abbott show must go on, smugglers and all

The Abbott show must go on, smugglers and all

The production will be screened at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.
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A satirical theatre production about Tony Abbott’s prime ministership is being furiously rewritten before the curtain goes up next week.

The writers of Abbott The Musical said their play was based on fact — at least the fact that Australian politics is a “total soap opera”, one of the writers and performers, Nic Conway, said.

He said there was plenty of political inspiration to draw on, given the past three prime ministers had been rolled by their parliamentary colleagues.

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The writers have been busy incorporating Monday’s dramatic political events into their production before it opens at the Melbourne Fringe Festival next week.

“As soon as [the vote] happened, it was basically a 36-hour frenzy. We locked ourselves in a room,” Conway said.

“Total lockdown. Coffee, a few beers – and just tried to cover every scenario.”

The satirical musical had its debut in Adelaide back in March and is now touring — with plenty of fresh material.

“In the show we have a lot of verbatim quotes … highlighted through the use of a ‘quote light’,” Conway said.

“[It lets] people know that the lines in the play, as absurd as they might sound or as politically incorrect … aren’t our thoughts.”

Conway said a very different political personality, Malcolm Turnbull, would now be a part of the story and the audience could expect to see some masterful dodging and weaving.

“Over the past year … where he’s been constantly questioned over the leadership, the restrained way in which he’s spoken and beaten around the bush is something that we’ll use,” he said.

“His clandestine relationship with Julie Bishop will get a mention.”

Conway expected the Melbourne show to be a hit, saying audiences loved political satire.

“Fact is better than fiction. It can certainly be funnier than fiction … often that’s what people love the most,” he said.

“You just hear this hush and then a gasp when something is said … and they just say ‘No! That can’t be real’.”

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