The Lyin’ Queen
Directed and Conceived by Trevor Ashley
Written by Phil Scott and Trevor Ashley
Photos by John McRae The Playhouse, Sydney Opera House until December 1
The Darlinghurst Theatre December 10 to 21
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP
Trevor Ashley, the king (or queen) of high camp, has done it again.
Following a series of productions that has earned Ashley a cult following, The Lyin’ Queen
is the latest to hit the stage. He set the bar high so there was a degree of anticipation.
The show opens with Eleanoa Rokobaro, wearing what looks like a traditional African costume, singing a song that could easily have come from The Lion King. We eventually realise that it’s the theme song from Home and Away.
The following musical number includes animal references that involve Lindy Chamberlain and a questionable taste but very funny depiction of Steve Irwin.
Gaye Wray is an ageing Australian Hollywood star who gained fame in Home and Away and is between projects. She has been lured by Dr. Richard Rabbitborough (Phil Scott) to be the celebrity face of Thoracic Park on an island off Queensland.
Rare wild animal species are to be seen there. The Doctor explains that the ScoMo-saurus is from the Pentecostal Period and is the stupidest animal on the island.
Added to the mix are American plant scientist Flora Fern (Shannon Dooley) and Swedish adventurer Garrison Fjord (Brendan Irving) whose accent takes a trip around the world from Sweden (sort-of) to South Africa to Germany and back.
The two largest creatures are the T-Rex and King Schlong who has an insatiable sexual appetite, and one of the group volunteers to take one for the team.
Satire and music veteran Phil Scott’s influence in the covering of contemporary issues is apparent and Trevor Ashley’s bitchy show business insights and “in” jokes are a delight.
“She’s like Hannah Gadsby, only funny.”
“You could’t pay me enough to work with Kerri-Anne Kennerley.”
“I want to be the Diane Fossey of Thoracic Park, or at least Bob Fossey.”
This show has its share of ad libs and it’s always fun to be “let in”. The script is likely to alter as news breaks.
On top of that, all of the cast members are high-level triple threats and Ashley has the pipes and the moves to lead this amazing production.
There are more laugh-out-loud moments in The Lyin’ Queen than anything else I’ve seen at the theatre this year and their treatment of Greta Thunberg in relation a monkey puppet is worth the price of admission.
If you’d like to be thoroughly entertained and can see the lighter side of the issues of today, get along and see The Lyin’ Queen.