This show is about Russell Jackson, a sports writer. David Quirk’s brother, Michael Quirk was a top draft pick for the AFL back in the day and Jackson wrote an article that mentioned Michael in a rather brutal manner. Yet Russell “Rusty Jacko” Jackson may not be the one who ends up taking things a little too far, as the article and the man behind it becomes the target of Quirk's anger and frustration at the world. Taking it as a personal assault on his soul, an affront to not only his individual worth as a man, but the entire Quirk Lineage… Dark Comedy ensues.
Firstly we receive a mimed song and dance routine of “do me baby” by Prince. Which is the only ray of light before the darkness of the piece creeps forward. Being diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency Quirk reveals he is also simultaneously having skin cancers cut out. Which is the perfect backdrop for this bleak landscape family portrait he paints. A tribe of broken Quirks who never quite made it to the top. Of course they were “Top blokes” but no one could climb the final rungs of the ladder to achieve the highest level of well… anything. This genetic complex seems to fuel Quirk down a wayward alley, going to great lengths to connect with Russel Jackson and extract some sort of explanation for the slight on his brother. Or perhaps to inflict some sort of twisted revenge involving drugs and awkward metaphors.
Quirk hisses at his audience mid show, “I’m like a snake… I am more afraid of you,” eyeballing us like a python. It is in these looks to the audience, and ability to generate tension and suspense through the storytelling that he holds the audience in his snake like trance. If there is one skill Quirk has proven to be at the top of his game, it is his ability to set up a revelation to the plot points and pull the trigger like a trained hitman.
There are some good things about never being the greatest at anything though. You will only ever be a day patient at the skin care ward. Not worthy of an entry into any medical journal. Your cancerous cells, not being at the top of their game will probably just drift into obscurity. Maybe it was just the 4:30pm performance but Quirk seemed unsure of himself at times on stage. With the passion for comedy seemingly coming and going by the minute. He threatened to pull his self disclosed signature move and “Quirk it”. Meaning to just walk off the stage ending the show prematurely. Or perhaps this was just all part of a very elaborate act in a very elaborate story. The show does warrant a wikipedia entry and anyone who loves a well told saga will get their fill in Quirk's benign yet capable hands.
Also the best use of the word Swonce, top marks for that one.
Laughing Stock Productions
Venue: Comedy Republic Upper House | 231 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC
Dates: 24 Mar – 11 April, 2021 (Extra show added 17 April)
Tickets: $33 – $22