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Too Old For TV


The Cafe Debris Company in association with Comedy On The Edge presents Brent Thorpe in TOO OLD FOR TV at the LYBRARY (formerly the Shannon Hotel), Abercrombie Street, Chippendale.

Brent Thorpe in blue tee shirt, jeans and red sneakers, nicely cut hair and scrubbed face – just as it should be, having survived though his times – stands in front of the microphone stand and begins, a monologue, a look back at some of the main events of his Gay life with a nostalgic recollection of people and gay geographical locations. It is a lesson in Lost Gay Sydney History, as much as it is a celebration of those people and places. It is funny, whimsical and occasionally political. The warmth and the gratitude for his fortunate life permeates the material and the ‘stand-up’.

It is best in the territory of fond recall. The memories he stirs, from the era beginning in the 1960’s til now, the high and lows, the humorous and the tragic, the far and near, could be discerned in the comfortable laughter and nodding and shaking heads of his audience. They were pleased and seemed to feel a kind of validation in a private history been spoken in public, out loud. They had much to add, that was left out in Mr Thorpe’s recollections, after the performance. They stood in groups remembering and elaborating.

Mr Thorpe, detours, part way in the journey, into an impersonation of a lovely lady in feathered hat,  glittering ear rings and a white fur stole, involved in a radio conversation with Alan. It is much more directly satiric and is familiar material for this genre of performance. It was a digression and as good as it was, it was more wonderful and a relief to come back to the other stuff, the comic history lesson of Mr Thorpe’s personal experience.

The work is in an early state of development but I reckon relevant and needed. I recommend the young and especially those who have lived through it all in Sydney, the older, to catch it. Respect, love and gratitude for surviving and adding to the roots of the Gay and Lesbian Community is worth celebrating and encouraging. Pleasing that it is presented in the (a) LYBRARY – a nicely renovated pub with kitchen dinner menu and comfortable outdoor space. A good vibe.

Let us hope the work develops into a grander scale of vision and memory. This is part of the Sydney Mardi Gras Festival 2013.