The Goodies: Still Alive on Stage




For those of you who dont know, and I suppose there must be at least a couple of you, The Goodies are three English baboons (Goodies joke) who formed in the early seventies after they pitched a half-hour comedy show of the same name to the BBC. Anything, anytime, was their motto. And this is perhaps the most accurate way of describing what they did. They were a threesome of crazy antics and big laughs for, as they remind us during the stage show, they have the dubious honour of being one of the few television acts to have killed someone through laughter. (True story, but Im not going to tell you.)

Bill Oddie (the short one), Tim Brooke-Taylor (the blond one), and Graeme Garden (the bespectacled one) are the three unlikely chaps at the centre of all the hubbub. And after looking at them in their current guise as sixty-somethings, some younger people may very well be scratching their heads wondering what all the fuss is about.

However Australian Producers, The Big Laugh Comedy Festival Sydney, have played on a hunch and invited them to pop on over and give us a bit of a show. The producers figured, rightly as it turns out, that as the ABC reran their show through much of the seventies and eighties, there would be a ground swell of Australian thirty-, forty-, and fifty-somethings just waiting to lap up their unique brand of humour.

Just like the television show, the show stage is a little difficult to describe accurately, for the evening is an odd mix of multimedia (they show some memorable clips from the television show), theatre (the vampire bat sketch and others), stand-up (they all ad-lib at times), all stirred together with a liberal dose of good old fashioned trips down memory lane. And what a long and wide lane these three particular gentlemen have travelled. Using a classic question and answer format, over the two hours The Goodies proceed to answer presumably real questions sent in by Australian viewers over the years, questions such as, What is the most painful thing youve done? Did you ever get censored? Where did you meet? You get the picture.

I went along to The Goodies: Still Alive on Stage hoping to have a good time, and I was not disappointed. I suspect that I laughed more watching these three old blokes muck around than in every single other show Ive seen this year combined. The inventive bleeping of the rude bits from such Julie Andrews classics as, all I want is a bleep somewhere, and bleep bleep bleep bleep tied up with string will remain with me for many months to come.

And so I draw to a close with sad news. Its just like The Goodies to have the last laugh. A cruel one in this case for all of you Brisbane readers wondering where you can get tickets. It turns out The Goodies are by now winging their way back home, having been in town only two days. If youre feeling particularly cheated by this I recommend you write to them. Who knows, perhaps theyll use your letter in their next show.

Directed by The Goodies

Playing 12 and 13 March 2005: Fri-Sat 8pm

Running Time: 2 hours including interval

— Glen J. Player
(Performance seen: Fri 11th March 2005)