Art imitates life, so they say, and George knew all about it |OPINION

ONE of the most redundant questions anyone can ask me is whether or not I enjoyed the show after watching a performance presented by HotHouse Theatre at the Butter Factory Theatre at Wodonga.

The reason is I have never not loved one of them, I just get a buzz out of being there.

And the latest production — which runs until Saturday night — is as good as any I have seen.

Stories I Want To Tell You In Person was written, created and performed by American Lally Katz, a high-profile identity in Australian theatre circles.

It could perhaps best be described as Paul Hogan meets Cyndi Lauper (Katz has one of those terrific ‘Noo Joysey’ accents despite having lived in Australia for a while now) meets Dave Allen meets Corinne Grant meets comedy festival meets quirky, unique, self-reflective and totally engaging theatre.

After the show I got to thinking how lucky we are in this part of the world when it comes to live theatre.

Apart from HotHouse Theatre there are some wonderful amateur companies, such as Livid Productions, Albury-Wodonga Theatre Company, The Other Theatre Company and a few in the satellite towns around Albury-Wodonga.

On top of that we have the Butter Factory Theatre, The Cube Wodonga and the Albury Entertainment Centre, plus some smaller venues.

Now, there’s a saying I have never quite understood and that is “art imitates life”; although famed playwright and social commentator Oscar Wilde reckoned it was the other way around.

However, if the saying can be interpreted that art, in particular live theatre, reflects various issues in society then I would have to agree; even if it is more by coincidence than intended.

So I am waiting with nervous anticipation of HotHouse Theatre’s production of 1984, an interpretation of the famed but scary George Orwell novel, published in 1949.

The novel introduced the concept of the ministry of truth and the thought police and was supposedly a commentary on the growing totalitarianism — nourished by lies and propaganda — that was sprouting and flourishing in some parts of Europe.

Now Australia is never likely to be in the grip of such a regime and democracy hopefully will survive for some time.

But the federal government — who I voted for — is scaring the hell out of me.

It seems totally concerned with vindictiveness, with operating under a cloak of secrecy and pursuing a war based on class, ideology and “trickle down” economics, where supposedly if you make the wealthy wealthier then the less wealthy will prosper.

In today’s Australia, the “ministry of truth” could be represented by the extreme right wing press and radio, who in turn are the tools of big business and mining companies who use politicians as their puppets.

The Royal Commission into corrupt unions may well turn up some damning evidence of evil within those organisations.

But is the reason to commission the inquiry a valid one or part of a federal government strategy to cut off the flow of funds to the Labor Party while they continue to wallow in money supplied by big business.

Similarly the attacks on the ABC might be interpreted as nothing more than an attempt to totally control the mass media by big business and other forces so as to be able to flood the community with biased, propaganda-based reporting.

And if the conservative politicians are serious about cutting wages and conditions then they should lead by example.

So Mr Abbott, we looking forward to you taking a $20,000 wage cut and implementing a freeze of your wages.

In the meantime, I pray HotHouse Theatre does not have a production of Armageddon scheduled for the near future.

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