Rod Quantock : Peak-A-Boo

By Noel Kelso

Rod Quantock is an angry old man. Before that he was an angry middle-aged man. Before that he was an angry young man. Before that he was an angry – well, you get the idea.

His new show at the Comedy Festival, Peak-A-Boo, is the usual seemingly rambling, disorganised hilarity which skewers every last one of its targets with a practised eye.

Quantock recently celebrated forty-five years in comedy, but has realised that this may have been a lie and that it is probably closer to sixty years. He tells a tale of a young, innocent Quantock playing the guiding star in the school nativity and of his reaction upon spotting his parents in the audience, precipitating much laughter.

There follows an hour of mad stories from this comics’ life along with commentary on hated professions, public figures and the press. The audience are told of how his art teacher used to deal with unruly kids using a massive brush and bottle of Clag children’s glue.

As he reels through his performance Quantock makes notes and draws helpful diagrams in coloured chalk on a blackboard at the rear of the stage. By the end of the evening it resembles the fevered notes taken by a mad scientist with no concept of neatness.

His tales of mischief with his trademark rubber chicken on a pole are often hilarious and would be unbelievable were it not for the fact that this is Rod Quantock and it is all too easy to believe him gate crashing a Police dinner in Groucho Marx glasses or invading the home of an unsuspecting couple to encourage them to have a dance, which somehow leads to their son having his engagement party in a very unlikely venue.

The show ends with a complete history of the Universe up to the present day and by the end the blackboard is a mess of rainbow colours and the audience is sore from laughing.

Peak-A-Boo is on at Melb Town Hall – Powder Room until April 20