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March 12, 2012 | by  | in Arts Theatre |
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Interview – Richard Meros (And His Able Sidekicks)

PREVIEW: Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man 

BY: Arthur Meek & Geoff Pinfield

ADAPTED FROM: the book by Richard Meros.

STARRING Arthur Meek.

DIRECTED by Geoff Pinfield.

I sit in the deserted foyer of the theatre, while the ticking clock counts off the seconds before I am to meet ‘The Man’. Suddenly, I hear passions crescendo through a resounding triumph of a monologue. The director’s ejaculation—an eruption of anarchic yawpishness—crowns the glory of a perfect moment. The quiet business of rehearsal continues, as the passing traffic remains blissfully ignorant of the scene of triumph within. I wait.

The waiting turned out to be the calm before the storm. Once the spigot was removed and the beer flowed, I was inundated by a torrent of twaddle. Yet, somewhere amongst the dross lay a seed; even though you know there is very little truth in what you are hearing, you are endeared to the speaker, and their earnestness makes you begin to believe them—albeit against your better judgment. Richard Meros presents for you a “seemingly anachronistic, sort of throw-back really. An Alpine philosopher who doesn’t even have a name, let alone a hashtag.” This philosopher is the answer to all our social and economic problems.

We first met Richard Meros in the smash-hit of 2008: On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover. Now, he is four years older, four years wiser, and—we assume—four years longer in a Speight’s commercial. He has realised “the way for us all to become happy, healthy, wealthy, and wise is to take a few of these rural, Alpine philosophers’ nuggets of wisdom and give them a little 21st century twist.” Much like Baz Luhrman, he will dispense this wisdom…now.

Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man has the bells and trappings of Helen Clark but takes them to the “next level.” He assures me his show is “1 hour of machine-gun logic with grotesque over-use of PowerPoint (nuclear-PowerPoint ®).” Indeed, Meros was in on the ground-floor of stand-up PowerPoint presentations—even if some pretenders such as TED and various recent Fringe productions will have you think theirs are better.

I am left in no doubt that Meros, Meek and Pinfield (his able sidekicks) can create awesome theatre. Even though they inundated me with over half an hour of what basically amounted to a “really good yarn,” I would pay just to see them sitting on a stage shooting the shit. But then, Richard Meros Salutes the Southern Man promises to be so much more. That is, in the words of Meros’s refrain: it “takes it to the next level.”

RICHARD MEROS SALUTES THE SOUTHERN MAN PLAYS AT BATS, 8-10 & 13-17 MARCH, 6.30PM. TICKETS COST $18/$14. 

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