Anatomy of Discourse
Robin Davidson @ UniSA City West (HH3-08)
7:30pm, Fri 10 Mar 2006
This production delivers the final lecture of a university professor, made redundant due to funding cutbacks and the resultant department closures. Of course, this has the effect of also taking aim at government funding rationale, the bureaucracy inherent within the higher education system, and the increasingly career-oriented degrees that universities are finding it necessary to focus on.
Robin Davidson delivers the lecture in a manner more akin to stand-up comedy; he trips from one topic to another, milking the laughs when he can, before doubling back to close off a topic. His character is clearly melancholic on this, his last day of an anonymous career; his dialogue full of regret as he recounts his sexual exploits – first as, then with, students. Now, though, he is alone – and mortality is in the air. In between swigs from his hip-flask, memories of the lasagna and merlot his once-respectable job afforded him, there’s plenty of digs at the world of academia – and a level of unrealised misogyny that leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth.
There was also a tiny bit of audience participation – which the audience mark took as indication that interruptions throughout the performance were OK. Davidson handled the unwanted “suggestions” well, but they (amusingly) irked the living shit out of the kids sitting in front of me… heh. I could see the Me of a few years ago in their shaken heads and furious glares.
Let’s look again at the flyer: “A witty, obscene, absurd, political and poignant glimpse of academia”, eh? Check, nup, nup, check, check. That’s somewhere on the road to Good Enough.