Tags: melbourne town hall

12 Aug 2007, Comments Off on The Trial of John Winston Howard

The Trial of John Winston Howard

Author: Helen

“You are aware, Ms Diabolica, that the Fifth Amendment is an American instrument?”
“Yes your Honour, but unfortunately so is my client.”
Last sunday night, the Melbourne Town Hall was packed to the rafters. As the doors opened, the queue stretched around the block and up to – it was rumoured – Russell street.
Max Gillies as JHo
Moosehead Awards? Dalai Lama? No – it was the Trial of John Howard, put on by the Fabian society, set in the Court of the Supreme Bean, Linda Briskman (Centre for Human Rights)with Julian Burnside as prosecutor and Rachel Doyle defending. JHo was played by Max Gillies. Love the prosthetic bottom lip, Max!

From the Fabian site: Her gracious majesty in the person of Gerry Connolly will grace us with her presence as a witness for Howard (God help him), Melanie La’Brooy will appear as a witness for the nation as well as number of others.
Cast and crew have volunteered their time and brilliance to bring this man to book!
Tim Robertson directs, John Timlin is producer with Guy Rundle, Julian Burnside, Jeremy Press ,Rod Quantock, Rachel Doyle and Melanie La’Brooy…
(Also, Shahin Shafaei as asylum seeker “Lucky”, Corinne Grant as Middle Australia and Gerry Connolly again as Paul Keating in a walk-on cameo).

It looked as if most of Middle Australia had turned out for this event. There were families from Brunswick and Thornbury to East Malvern and Blackburn– hardly inner-city Trotskyite types. If I were Mark Textor, I’d be feeling very queasy. Not only were the Doctors Wives all out in force, the doctors were all there too, along with the older doctors’ kids. Lots of oldies there; two of the people in our group were over eighty – you just can’t rely on these people to stay in their houses with the tartan rug over the knees any more. Troublemakers!
This Sedition Stamp comes courtesy of Nick Possom of www.brushtail.com and he says you are welcome to use it.
The ticket came with a printed warning: The bearer of this document will now be definitely known to ASIO, the CIA and sundry experts in the area of rendition, torture and detention centres and has never attended Kirribilli House or the Lodge as a fundraising guest of the Liberal Party or the Defendant. I guess our chances of being invited to Kirribilli House for dinner are kaput now, too.

Buried down at the bottom of the program, “By popular request, Janette Howard does not appear.” Zzzing! I guess it was a tough call whether to lampoon Hyacinth, and they decided to go easy on her, except for that little shot of acid.

It was intriguing to be part of such an old-style political event, in keeping with the Victorian architecture of the Town Hall. Despite the sophisticated AV equipment and auxiliary screens, this was the way we’d have been voicing our protest before blogging, forums and talkback: lampooning characters with a broad brush on the stage, with the house packed to the rafters with the ordinary voters cheering, booing and having the time of their lives.

Next day, the Hun headline was “Old, Tricky and Losing“. Even the Murdochistas are abandoning JHo. If I’m not careful, I’ll find myself feeling sorry for the old rodent.
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom