Is Australia suffering a leadership deficit? There was a time when politicians could inspire us. But were they really better than the current crop or has our perception benefited from the passage of time?
Max Gillies has been a keen observer of the political combat zone for half a century. His fascination with the ups and downs of political leadership has seen him parody everyone from Hawke to Thatcher and many more.
Once Max used to apply make-up, wigs and prosthetic enhancements in order to disguise himself. He doesn’t have those bits and pieces anymore. But he has accumulated a rich collection of caricatures. Once Were Leaders sees Max share his memories of a life spent on the fringes of power, mining the archive for his favourite game changing speeches.
Actor, comedian and impersonator extraordinaire, Max Gillies is renowned for his satirical impressions of Australian politicians. Max commenced performing satires for stage and television in 1980. He is best known for his shows, such as The Gillies Report and Gillies Republic, which screened on ABC from 1983 to 1986. Since 1987, Max has appeared in a selection of serious and comic roles for theatre.
Max has created a variety of imaginary characters for corporate training videos and his comic impersonations, including Bob Hawke, Malcolm Fraser, John Howard, Bronwyn Bishop, Geoffrey Blainey, Graham Richardson and Jeff Kennett, which are some of the highlights of many political party launches and special events.
Once Were Leaders – An Evening with Max Gillies is playing the following dates: Darebin Arts & Entertainment Centre (Thursday 5 November); Whitehorse Centre, Nunawading (Thursday 12 November); The Clocktower Centre, Moonee Ponds (Friday 13 November); Cremorne Theatre, QPAC Brisbane (16 – 18 November); and The Drum Theatre, Dandenong (Friday 20 November).
Image: Max Gillies – photo by Marty Williams