Full of intelligence and wit, The Gospel According to Paul is a funny, insightful and poignant portrait of the man that – as he tells it – single-handedly shaped contemporary Australia.
Written by and featuring Jonathan Biggins, The Gospel According to Paul paints a sympathetic but uncompromising picture of one of our most unique and compelling politicians, exploring his impact on our country and history – and more importantly, our understanding of both.
Jonathan Biggins’ performance as Paul Keating is well known from the long-running Sydney Theatre Company success story, the Wharf Revue. But beyond the canny impersonation, Jonathan, like so many Australians, has long been fascinated by Keating and what he represents to Australia. Keating is a man of eviscerating wit and rich rhetoric with an ego the size of Everest.
Distilling the essence of his leadership into 90 minutes, The Gospel According to Paul focusses on landmark political achievements as well as personal obsessions: a man who grew up in the tribe of the Labor Party and gained an education at the knee of Jack Lang, who treated economics as an artform, and demanded we confront with rigorous honesty the wrongs of our colonial past.
And perhaps most fascinating of all, his great engagement with the arts and in particular classical music, and his profound belief in the power of an inner life. What can we learn from this grand politician, and this momentous time in our country’s history?
After earning rave reviews from critics and standing ovations from audiences in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane, it’s finally Melbourne’s turn to experience what Biggins’ describes as “the first three-dimensional, unauthorised autobiography written by someone else… I can’t think of a more entertaining or significant figure in recent Australian history with whom to spend an evening. All iceberg, no tip.”
Director: Aarne Neeme Featuring: Jonathan Biggins Designer: Mark Thompson Lighting Designer: Verity Hampson Sound and Video Designer: David Bergman
The Gospel According to Paul
Playhouse – Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Season: 11 – 23 May 2021
Information and Bookings: www.artscentremelbourne.com.au
Image: Jonathan Biggins as Paul Keating – photo by Brett Boardman