Australian musical comedy group, Doug Anthony All Stars, are bringing their unique and provocative show to Adelaide on July 7th. GLAM Adelaide had the chance to talk to one of the group’s founding members, Tim Ferguson, about the group and what Adelaide audiences can expect from their new show.
As eccentric and incisive as ever, Ferguson describes the new show being “primarily about death”, with the members very much grown up from when they first formed in the mid-80s. Despite over 35 years in the entertainment industry, having worked in most forms of performance media, he maintains that there is little advice he would give his younger self. Ferguson describes how, in busking, the audience owes absolutely nothing to the random performer on the street and it is up to the performance to draw the crowd in. It is this method that has influenced every element of Ferguson’s career and it continues to run throughout the new show.
Since their separation in 1994, the group has joined back together for a few small concerts, but in recent years they have created a whole new act which they are now touring throughout Australia. Ferguson says that nothing particularly sparked this reunion – they just finally managed to fit it into their schedules!
The writing of the show was incredibly natural as the team returned to what they do best. Although the original show was Elvis, commies and hippies, Ferguson says that the transition to modernised cultural touchstones was easy. It’s the way of the world that there is always more to analyse.
Ferguson has never believed that the Doug Anthony All Stars were a notably political group. Their brand of humour simply offers an alternative view on the world. They pride themselves on not simply mocking politicians and incompetent public figures (“they do enough of that themselves”). Instead the show portrays important world issues from their own abstract eye. This show in particular focuses on “the end” that is constantly approaching us all. Ferguson described the show as “a little bit scary” but centrally about emotions – to critically analyse the show would be to miss the point.
It is shocking even to Ferguson himself that their group has had few imitators. Perhaps their brand of humour was too abrasive or too absurd. Still the Doug Anthony All Stars are a group unlike any other and he is excited to bring their thrilling and potentially controversial show to the people of Adelaide.
The Doug Anthony All Stars Near Death Experience will play for one night only this coming Thursday 7 July at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Interview by Nathan Quadrio