Les, Gary and Steve (Anne Edmonds, Damian Power and Greg Larsen) are the True Australian Patriots, a fringe group desperate to protect the Australian way of life from all manner of perceived threats. This comedy festival, they are stepping into the lefty heartland to teach us all a lesson about the dangers we face, and perhaps entice us to join them in their fight.
From the moment the audience entered the venue and saw the PowerPoint presentation displayed on stage – a truly magnificent collection of patriotic memes and yellow Monaro photos – the laughter was constant. Everything about this show is painfully funny. There are educational segments filled with crackpottery, baffling displays of Australian culture, and more weightlifting than you would expect. Bubbling underneath it all is the complicated relationship between the trio – a constant struggle for power and love.
Edmonds, Power and Larsen throw everything they’ve got into their characters, creating personas that are truly horrible and yet kind of endearing. Over the course of the show, you get some insight into how these people came together as a result of deeper issues in their lives. Les, Gary and Steve are perfectly unprofessional, regularly stuffing up lines, positioning themselves awkwardly on the stage, and getting upset when the audience laughs at them.
This is not a show for the faint-hearted. Edmonds, Power and Larsen stay true to their characters throughout and do not shy away from the content they’re satirising. The bulk of what comes out of their collective faces is deeply offensive, and a part of you does cringe at the thought that there are people out there who are genuinely that prejudiced. But through being bold and out-and-out stupid with this material, True Australian Patriots show these “patriotic” groups for what they are – collections of very sad people with completely ridiculous opinions that should not be taken seriously in any way, shape or form.
True Australian Patriots Live is a show unlike any other. It’s a total assault on all the senses, and an absolute masterclass in commitment to character. This big lefty was certainly shown what’s what and left the venue in tears.
True Australian Patriots Live is on at the Melbourne Town Hall Supper Room until April 16.