The words and music of Tom Lehrer. Adapted by Cameron Mackintosh and Robin Ray. Loaded Productions. Director: Theresa Borg. Gasworks Theatre, Gasworks Arts Park, Albert Park, Vic. September 12 – 22, 2018

Tomfoolery is a musical revue written in 1980 to celebrate the songs of Tom Lehrer, songwriter and satirist, who was popular in the 50s and 60s for his biting wit. His clever lyrics are not always in the best taste, but always funny and often poking fun at the politics and issues of the day.

This professional production was very well done. Tom Lehrer himself 'appeared' as a skeleton in a dinner suit, though he did change to an archbishop for “The Vatican Rag”. Directed by Theresa Borg, all the action was tight, with some good choreography. As you’d expect from a professional production, the comic timing was excellent.

Rather than being the story of Tom Lehrer, it comprised many of his songs, with brief introductions for each.  Peter Hurley was excellent on the piano, also joining in the vocals, and Susan-ann Walker accompanied a couple of his songs.

Susan-ann was a typical brassy belter, and an excellent foil to Michael Dalton and Sean Weatherly. Though all songs were originally written as solos, some involved some or all of the participants, which included some lovely harmony singing.

It was a fast-paced show, with the stage being reset during the applause so they were ready to launch into the next number.

At the end the audience was left wanting more – always a good sign.

Graham Ford

Photographer: Kate Arnott

Subscribe to our E-Newsletter, buy our latest print edition or find a Performing Arts book at Book Nook.