The show is based on the 1950s-60s lyrics and music of American mathematician, songwriter and satirist Tom Lehrer.
While many of the songs are related to the issues of his time, several are just as relevant today, especially those relating to nuclear war and pollution.
The show also illustrates how society’s attitudes have changed. While few are likely to be shocked by the lyrics expressed in Lehrer’s songs today, this wasn’t always the case. In 1960 when Lehrer came to Adelaide to present his one man show, the South Australian Government banned five songs on the grounds of public morality, good manner and decorum!
Tomfoolery is the brainchild of a young Cameron Mackintosh. The show debuted in London in 1980.
The 80 minute show features 21 of Lehrer’s songs which poke fun at politics, love, religion, song genres and political correctness. While some are well known, such as Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, others are more obscure. The lyrics of several of the songs have been updated to include current political leaders.
The show’s cast members do a wonderful job bringing the songs to life with just a few props.
Peter Hurley shows his skills on piano and presents several songs including The Old Dope Peddler and I Got It From Agnes, with great comic timing.
Susan-Ann Walker’s comic skills, energy and music skills are equally as impressive. Her presentation of the Irish Ballad is one of the show’s highlights.
Michael Dalton and Sean Weatherly also deliver strong performances with Weatherly’s presentation of New Math and The Elements being other show highlights.
It’s the cast’s performance together with Lehrer’s satirical songs that ensure Tomfoolery provides many laughs.
Tomfoolery is playing at Gasworks Theatre until September 22. Visit Gasworks Theatre for tickets and more information.
*Photo credit: Kate Arnott.
Jenny Burns attended the opening night of Tomfoolery as a guest of the Production Company.
- live shows, Melbourne, reviews
Subscribe My Newsletter
Unsubscribe at any time.