4 Feb

‘Slips’ Cordon is a top bloke. By his own admission.

Some other Australian legends are admitted to the pantheon. But others are not, and these others are quickly dismissed as sniveling pricks and the like.

One of the irresistible charms of Slips Cordon, the great raconteur, is his indubitable judgements. By sheer strength of personality, he inexorably divides the world into the wheat and the chaff.

Photo by Katy Green Loughrey

Photo by Katy Green Loughrey

This magnificent teller of tall tales shares with us his part in some of the seemingly seminal events of a very Australian twentieth century. The key aspect of each story is that he’s always the hero.

John Derum’s performance is a true delight. Pat Sheil’s script is comic brilliance.

Lex Marinos’ direction is simple and highly effective – the ambiance of a fire side reminisce, an evening of the gentle look backwards, generates hilarity by the absurdity of the contrast with Slips’ truly outrageous stories.

Like Forest Gump, but without the innocence, Slips seems to have been everywhere. And known everyone: Bradman, Phar Lap, Melba, Errol Flynn, Simpson, his donkey. Everyone. And Slips out shines them all.

So Legend is a satire on the big talker? The wanker?

Perhaps.  It’s difficult not to love Slips for his colossal exuberance.

The night is a roll call of Aussie icons. And Slips’  involvement in their famous lives is invariable. The fun is who’ll be next.

And that’s the point. Why are these people (and assorted members of the equine family) our heroes? And, indeed, why have heroes at all? That these names are so very familiar is indicative of a culture beguiled by the simplicity of judgement, and seduced by the safety of the indulgent backward gaze.

Veronica Kaye

Legend! by Pat Sheil

The Old Fitzroy til 15 Feb


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