27 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Interview With Jonathan Biggins

Latest News

Local youth among those hardest hit by housing affordability crisis

A 20 per cent spike in rents is driving an increase in youth homelessness across the North Coast, the organisers of a national campaign to end homelessness say.

Other News

The Channon resilient after disaster

Northern Rivers communities are nothing if not resilient and The Channon community is preparing to take a proactive stance when it comes to disasters in the area.

Will the Shenhua Watermark coal mine be cancelled?

News is trickling through unofficial channels about the possibility of a Berejiklian government plan to buy out the remaining licence from the Shenhua Watermark coal mine project at Breeze in the state's west.

A bouquet for Lilac House

L Jenkins, Byron Bay Nicole Habrecht should receive free paint and brushes and a pat on the back from Council for...

ALP puts war power reform on the agenda

The Australian Labor Party will hold a public inquiry into how Australia goes to war if elected to government next year.

Coalition ‘hellbent’

Mat Morris, Bangalow The NSW coalition seems to be hellbent on outdoing their federal counterparts when it comes to the denigration...

The ghost in the archives #3: Sexism, legal discrimination and ‘the game of bastardry’

The ghost in the archives #3 – In which a former Echo drudge dives into the crypt and comes up covered in dusty memories.

Jonathan Biggins presents The Gospel According to Paul, at Lismore City Hall on Thursday and Friday

Jonathan Biggins presents The Gospel According to Paul

Lismore City Hall  |  Thursday and Friday  |  7.30pm  |  $25-59

Love him or hate him, Paul Keating is without a doubt one of Australia’s great leaders. In fact, in a time when that quality has come under greater scrutiny, it’s timely to hear Keating’s story. As part of the Wharf Revue, actor Jonathan Biggins has been playing Paul Keating for years now.

‘He is such an entertaining character,’ says Jonathan, of Keating. ‘He was acerbic – he could get away with saying almost anything. When I wrote this show, I thought maybe I had missed the boat as he’s out of people’s consciousness, but now there is a vacuum of leadership. So even people who don’t like him miss him. They miss conviction in a politician. They miss people who could look beyond next week and into the next decade.’

So how does a man make himself into Keating?

‘It starts with impersonation’, says Biggins, who admits he had to speed up Keating’s speech. ‘If you spoke at Paul’s pace, it would go forever because he was so – slow. But I do try and look like him, and sound like him, and people have said we are just watching him when you are on stage, we are not watching you!’

Paul Keating has been to see the show a few times. When he first came to see Biggins in the Wharf Revue his comment was ‘I’d have been wearing a better suit.’ But they didn’t have the budget for a Zegna. His reaction to the current show The Gospel According To Paul was to thank Biggins for being so generous. Most recently Biggins was relieved when Paul’s biographer came to the show and only made one change. It was that Paul left school at 14. It’s inspiring that such a brilliant man didn’t finish school… proof that square pegs can go on to find their holes.

So, what is the trick to playing Paul Keating?

‘One of the challenges is that he’s not given to self-criticism – so you have to play that. Sometimes his arrogance gets the better of him – he’s not self-deprecatory, though he is modest and very private.’

Biggins has created a script that includes many of Keating’s witticisms, and many that he didn’t say – you’ll have to guess which is which. Some of Biggins’ favourite Keatingisms are…

‘When he was speaking about Andrew Peacock, and said “A souffle can’t rise twice.” Or when he described Peter Costello as “All tip, no iceberg.” He also said “Leadership isn’t about being popular, it’s about being right.” That’s so accurate and true. He was always good with the parliamentary insult.’

Jonathan Biggins presents The Gospel According to Paul, at Lismore City Hall on Thursday and Friday, at 7.30pm. Tix are $25–59 from norpa.org.au.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Fresh faces for Council elections

A very distinct, black flat-cap has just been thrown into the ring for the upcoming Byron Council elections, pegged for September 4.

Follow the buck$

JK Mckenna, Burringbar Give Fast Buck$ his own column in the paper. Let him speak. Let him be heard. Let’s also see some accountability from councils...

A bouquet for Lilac House

L Jenkins, Byron Bay Nicole Habrecht should receive free paint and brushes and a pat on the back from Council for maintaining her house in a...

Bruns boarding house showdown Thursday

The stage is set for a crucial debate over the Brunswick Heads ‘Corso’ development in Byron Council this week, with staff recommending that the developer’s revised plans be approved.