The Breakfast Club
11:00am, Sat 15 Mar 2014
It appeared that I had learnt nothing from last year’s Breakfast Club adventure – post-Zorn, Helen and I had hit Lola’s Pergola until… well, until it was politely insisted that we leave. And so, once again, I found myself trudging to Nexus nursing a honky wonky hangover; once again, Mickey D and Boo greeted me at the door with coffee and pastries. Disappointingly, the audience wasn’t as large as last year’s bumper crowd… and they seemed a little quieter, too. More sedate.
Which was somewhat appreciated by Messrs Honky and Wonky.
Mickey D emceed the show with his usual aplomb; it’s still odd to see him perform such child-friendly material, but he gets the kids onside relatively easily… except for the toddler who decided to headbutt him in the shins. But the first guest to the ‘Club was Dizzy Ms Lizzy (Liz Cahalan), who performed some Bollywood-inspired dance for the crowd before inviting many of the older children up onstage for an impromptu dance lesson. This could have gone terribly wrong, but Cahalan handled the kids well… all while subtly delivering an anti-bullying message in amongst the positivity.
Just as I was stunned by Lindsay Webb’s appearance in the ‘Club last year, I raised an eyebrow at Glenn Wool’s appearance onstage… but he really opened up to the youngsters in the audience (who also took a liking to his vocal eccentricities) and proved to be wonderfully engaging. A rambling story about his Mountie father entertained the quizzical children, and when he – inexplicably – started talking about Turkey joining the EU, one of the kids near the stage crossed his arms with an audible harrumph: “absolutely not!” the future geo-political genius bluntly stated.
Finally, Jon Bennett came out and… well, he proved what a brilliant storyteller he is. Starting with stories about his hairy Dad (of course), he dragged the progressively more unruly youngsters into line by telling stories of Megan the pig (delicious!), and a grossly funny story that involved him using a dead cow’s bloated stomach as a trampoline… while wearing sprigs on his footy boots. You can guess the rest.
As with last year’s show, The Breakfast Club allowed these performers to show another aspect of their act; whilst Bennett’s material can occasionally be kid-friendly (meth-addicted brother excepted, of course), I was surprised at the ease with which his storytelling style got the kids’ attention. Wool’s performance, too, was an eye opener, and Cahalan provided a physical feel-good exercise. So, as Mickey D wrapped things up with the same parents-versus-kids gags as last year, I figured that The Breakfast Club was still a decent show to catch… but I really, really should learn my lesson about the Big Night Before.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 15, 2014