With shows cancelled at The Joan in Penrith in August, and the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Sydney in October thanks to you-know-what, the 20th year run of The Wharf Revue – Sydney’s institution of pre-Christmas puckery – was looking less like a run than a hobbled limp. At Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, the plush red curtains rolled up to reveal Jonathan Biggins and Drew Forsythe sitting glumly on stage, oblivious to the crowd, thinking about all the bits they’ve had to toss out. The Hawaii gag, for one. “The grass skirts all burned in the bushfires,” sighs Forsythe.

All? Well. In a flourish, Phillip Scott – third musketeer of mischief – materialises semi-naked to kick off the song and dance send-up: grass skirt, lei and all. Joined by Mandy Bishop, a regular accomplice with the boys, gifted with a fabulously voice, what follows is a night of frivolity and fast costume changes, where all that is puffed up in politics is satisfyingly pricked.

Jonathan Biggins, Phillip Scott, Drew Forsythe and Mandy Bishop. Photograph © Brett Boardman

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