A cavalcade of Melbourne celebrity, The Bedroom Philosopher‘s High School Assembly is a variety revue of adolescence gone mad. The show is more or less the same as the 2011 incarnation, save for a few changes, but utterly enjoyable nonetheless. The tremendous Ben Pobjie is back as Principal Farquar, a no-nonsense head of school. Pobjie is an excellent comedic performer- here’s hoping to see more of him on the scene.
The Bedroom Philosopher himself appears as various characters: an SRC captain, a grunge-y muso with Dad issues, a mulleted bogan student talking ‘the universe’ in an indecipherable accent, a promising stand-up comic- Philosopher is like Dana Carvey in ‘Master of Disguise’, only funny. Emilie Zoey Baker appears with BP, performing some adorable/amusing (adusing!) love poetry (“You’re so amazing, people write your name under ‘religion’ on the Census”)
There are but a few moments when the fascade of the ‘assembly’ falls flat; ’certificate time’, for example, is a dull moment in any teenager’s day and the joke certificates in this assembly didn’t do enough to make the idea of arbitrary bits of paper funny (I once got one for attendance- attendance! I got a laminated certificate, signed by the Principal and all pretty, just for coming to school!) but Telia Nevile’s appearance, giving a speech on sex and relationships with visual aid by BP and Sabrina D’Angelo- was terrific.
The highlight is the school’s Rock Eisteddfod entry, with all the gloriously clunky imagery and song pastiche you could ever hope for. Ah, the days of tackling harrowing global issues with Edwin Starr and hammy dancing! It’s a real joy. BP’s slot as himself later is excellent, too; a hilariously cheesy recycling awareness routine, with some divine proper street gang characters. Nice prop work on the wheelie bin, too, guys.
The gang are only doing a short in the festival, people: get onto it.
Words: Lisa Dib