PREVIEW BY AMELIA GROOM
It was September 6, 1962. Lenny Bruce, creator of modern stand up and one of the most fascinating and tragic personalities of the 50s and 60s, opened his first Australian performance with the remark ‘what a fucking wonderful audience!’
He was promptly arrested on grounds of obscenity, and taken off stage.
The controversial American writer, social critic, satirist, stand-up comedian and relentless potty mouth was arrested for obscenity numerous times throughout his career, and also blacklisted by venues across the US, and banned from various cities.
Forty six years later, his original Sydney performance that never took place will be recreated at the Sydney Opera House Studio for one show only on Thursday evening. As part of the 2008 Biennale of Sydney (opening this week), leading performance artist Dora García directs actor Harli Ammouchi in the role of Lenny Bruce.
Just Because Everything Is Different, It Does Not Mean That Anything Has Changed will be hosted by Richard Neville, author and former editor of counterculture magazine, Oz. Neville was present at the 1962 performance and tried to organise a second event, but authorities intervened and Bruce was told to leave Australia and never to return.
Taken from audio recordings from his famous shows at such iconic venues as Carnegie Hall, the 45-minute stand-up routine explores issues of censorship and racial discrimination in 1960s Australia, and – as the title implies – asks how far we’ve come.
Just Because Everything Is Different
June 19 at 6.30pm
The Studio at The Sydney Opera House
Bookings: 9250 7777 or www.sydneyoperahouse.com
More information: www.biennaleofsydney.com.au