Sixty people (and a dog) crowded into a small room in the Trades Hall to listen to the wise words of the man who some consider to be the fairy godmother of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Others probably consider him to be Death himself, complete with scythe.

Rod Quantock tells the audience what is wrong with the world. How global warming is going, how we’re running out of oil, the effect that will have, how we’re running out of food, and water. How the politicians are hopeless. How the Earth needs to shed 5 billion people. He sets out to answer the question ‘Are people stupid?’ It’s quickly answered, ‘Yes’.

The show rapidly progresses from a history lesson, to political commentary, to social commentary. It’s a riveting and fascinating performance, but be prepared to leave there depressed about the future of the world. If you don’t, then you haven’t really learnt anything.

Rod Quantock’s style of comedy isn’t for everyone, and he seems perfectly fine with that. Much of his audience skewed older, and in some aspects he was preaching to the choir. That didn’t seem to bother Rod, as the message he had to tell was an important one.

Rod’s comedy comes with diagrams, calculations, and an articulate enthusiasm. You’ll definitely laugh at his jokes, but those laughs will come because it’s such a relief to be able to laugh at anything. If your views skew left, and you like to to think, then this show is for you.

Rod Quantock in ‘The Insane Asylum (You’re Standing in it)’ at the Trades Hall at 7:15pm until 24th April.


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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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