Here, Mooney tells InDaily what Fringe audiences can expect from An Evening with Malcolm Turnbull.
Some people might be sceptical about the entertainment value of an evening with Malcolm Turnbull, but you promise the “real Malcolm” is witty, charming, hilarious and sexy. Please explain?
I was sceptical, too, but I ran the show at the Melbourne Fringe Festival last year and was surprised at how much Malcolm people want.
The premise of the show is Malcolm has his own tonight show so there’s a high-profile political guest every night and we finish with a big number. Oh and it’s not the actual Prime Minister, it’s a comedian pretending to be the Prime Minister.
How did you go about perfecting your impression of the PM?
In 2014 I watched far too much Q&A and became fascinated by Malcolm. He’s quite a charismatic figure – most people with flaws, contradictions of character and power are.
I like him, too; I think that’s important when you’re getting inside somebody.
What are your favourite Malcolm phrases or lines to reprise?
The line that I use to anchor his voice and also teach the audience how to speak like him is “fire hydrant”. “I took my dog for a walk and tied it to the fire hydrant.”
I hear you will be having some “special guests” during your Adelaide Fringe shows – any hints as to who might turn up?
Penny Wong is definitely close; Jay Weatherill is keen, and a host of local state and federal MPs. My absolute dream would be to get Christopher Pyne and Malcolm together – what a hoot.
What are some of the hot topics Fringe audiences can expect to be canvassed during An Evening with Malcolm Turnbull?
I will be talking about current issues as well as historical, so Barnaby [Joyce] will be in there, dual citizenship, the environment, and Malcolm’s history is fascinating, too. There’s pathos and darkness in this as well.
Will ‘Malcolm’ be accepting questions from the audience – and if so, will any issues be off-limits?
There is some audience interaction with Malcolm – some solicited, some unsolicited. Sometimes people get into a state of transference and just yell at the PM.
I believe Malcolm Turnbull actually saw part of your send-up and reckoned it was a fair cop. So given your success at impersonating the country’s top pollie, could a real political career be on the cards for Lawrence Mooney?
This has already been discussed with seriously vested interests and the answer is no. Can you imagine the dirt they’d dig up on me? OMG, I do not need that level of scrutiny. I seriously have no idea why anybody would subject themselves to that kind of life.
Lawrence Mooney will present An Evening with Malcolm Turnbull in the Garden of Unearthly Delights from February 16 until March 4 as part of the Adelaide Fringe. See more InDaily Fringe previews here.
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