y Call Me Madman single work   musical theatre   revue/revusical   humour  
Issue Details: First known date: 1952-1953 1952-1953
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During the two years he spent at the University of Melbourne studying law, philosophy and fine arts, Humphries became interested in the deconstructive and absurdist art movement, Dada. The Dadaist pranks and performances he mounted in Melbourne were experiments in anarchy and visual satire, and were very much at the heart of this revue. As he explains in a 1965 interview with Women's Weekly:

I called it Call Me Madman - it was in the days of Call Me Madam - and it was an experiment in humour. Once kids become university students they immediately become so frightfully liberal and angry about everything, such as prejudice and intolerance. They put chamber pots on church spires and think they're with it. So I gave them something they didn't expect. I took an anti-aboriginal and pro-religion line.

The revue opened with a long and boring oration on famine in India and statistics about the death-rate from starvation. As it rambled on, actors pelted the audience with food. Throughout the revue lights were flicked on and off for no reason and flames and smoke issued from burning toast in a toaster. A talk, 'Let's Talk Sense about Da Da' was given.

The writer records, too, that Humphries supposedly hid in a cupboard until the enraged audience left (29 September 1965, 5).

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First known date: ca. 1952-1953
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Note:
This entry has been sourced from research undertaken by Dr Clay Djubal into Australian-written popular music theatre.
Last amended 18 Sep 2014 13:21:39
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