Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Old School

Do you remember the days of the old school yard? That's the question posed to me by this guy Cat Stevens on one of his old LPs. I don't know if it was addressed to me personally, but I have two cats and so this uniquely qualifies me to answer this poser. Also, I knew a guy called Steven once (actually his name was Stuart but close enough in my book. The book is called WHY I AM RIGHT. It's a page-turner.)

Contemplating Cat's query, I was motivated to dust off the old photo album and reacquaint myself with my old school chums and chumettes. Here's a photo of my class as we looked way back in 1914. Good times, good times. I'll walk you through them.

What a winsome bunch.

This is Gustav. We always thought he was a little strange - notice that he is the only boy wearing a completely different colour suit to the rest of us. He thought he was a bit special that way. Also, his eyes weren't so much eyes as oversized blackcurrants. We never spoke about it. It was one of those things.

Carmelina was another odd one. Mainly because she wasn't all there - this photo does a good job indicating how she was more fuzzy apparition than actual person. She ended up working at David Jones, I think.

Dudley here was probably the meanest-ass mofe I've ever met. He would just as soon stick you with a screwdriver as look at you. We, all of us, had our "Dudley Stories", usually about how he'd torn off one of our toenails or shoved a rusty spoon between two of our vertebrae at recess. Whatever happened to Dudley?

Man, I had the hots for Juanita. She never even acknowledged my existence. Looking back at her hair in this picture, I'm actually now beginning to wonder if she wasn't kind of unbalanced.

Jeremy. Insisted we call him 'Emperor' for three years, then dropped it.

Marion played the tuba. Ended up going on postal in a Coles.

Clarissa was named "Most Likely To Die Of Consumption" but she's still going strong and re-married last winter!

Funnily enough, I don't remember this guy at all. My notes state that his name was Tommy "Knuckles" Tonito but it just doesn't ring a bell. Huh!

And of course our teacher, Sister Geoffrey. We never, ever thought to question this somewhat unusual name. Now it all makes sense.

So anyway, that was my youth around the time of the Great War. We were mostly sheltered from the reality of that particular world event.

Eleventh Hour Theatre are currently performing Australia's first production of Shakespeare's King John, and it's a humdinger. Go see it if you like Shakespeare, and don't if you don't. But it's not just the Bard on offer: what you actually get is a bunch of World War I officers and nurses in a military hospital putting on their own production of King John to pass the time. It's hilarious: watching actors play non-actors playing historical characters adds layers and layers to what was probably a pretty dry text to begin with. And they go for the entertainment angle, too, featuring lots of gags based on bad acting, funny accents etc. But underneath it's a very strong and insightful rendering. Anyway, I've already written a bunch of reviews elsewhere so I can't be bothered go over its strengths again. Suffice to say, little Gustav, Juanita and Jeremy (and the rest) would have loved it.

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