Bombay To Beijing By Bicycle
Bakehouse Theatre – Main Stage, Wed Mar 6
Rambunctious and physical comedy is the support spoke in this, a true story of one man’s adventures from Bombay to Beijing by bicycle. Intrepid traveller Russell McGilton didn’t want to listen to his father, settle down or invest in a house. He was curious, and needed material for his book to rival author Bill Bryson’s, and so he sets off…
The minimalist set favoured our performer’s animated impersonations, allowing McGilton to show off his dynamism in the form of fast-paced characterisations. It’s possible that anyone with particularly tender sensibilities may be offended by renditions of enthusiastic monkeys or human gastroenteritis, but McGilton is just telling it as it is.
This is an exciting and captivating journey to engage in and lives up to its promise to take you into a world of searing heat, overwhelming dust, sore butts, sacred cows and sweaty balls. A vivid hour to tantalise wannabe travellers.
Bombay To Beijing By Bicycle
**Winner of the George Fairfax Playwright Award**
**SOLD OUT – Melbourne Fringe 2005**
**SOLD OUT – Melbourne Comedy Festival 2006**
‘Congratulations. You are having the malaria.’
And so begins Russell’s chaotic adventure as he attempts to cycle from Bombay to Beijing in the quest of writing his travel opus.
‘…a superb ride through the self’ Helen Razer, The Age’
‘…amusing one man show that baffles as much as it delights.’ Edinburgh Festival, HAIRLINE REVIEW, Gareth Braddick
Tickets are already selling fast for the Adelaide Fringe!
4th March to 16th March (No Sundays)
Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide
Don’t miss out! Click here:
For Melbourne Festival, click on the image below to take you to the booking page.
Shows are from 27th March to 9th April at 7.30pm
The latest revised version of Bombay to Beijing by Bicycle is available at Momentum Books.
Bonuses include over forty photographs of the trip, maps and script of the award winning one man show (see Bombay to Beijing by Bicycle).
In the new batman movie ‘Dark Night Rises’ there are a number of flaws in the writing of the villain, Bane . First of all, the mouth-mask. If he takes it off he’ll die. This of course leads to the question, ‘How did Bane become such a hulking mass of muscle if couldn’t get anything passed his mask except mumbled vowels? Through a straw? Super Protein Enema Shakes? Fat words?
My second point, is that Bane has this rich plummy, Richard Burton voice that sounds like he’s wearing Kenny from South Park’s Anorak. You can’t understand a word
Not only is his voice incomprehensible, it’s not geographically correct.
You see, Bane grew up in a prison at the bottom of a pit. When Bruce Wayne ascends from the same pit we see that it’s just outside the blue city of Jodhpur, India.
So really, Bane shouldn’t have a rich English accent but an Indian one. Now, I’m sure there are some kick-arse villains in Bollywood films but so far what is running through my limited library of references (okay, unfair stereotypes) would be Bane, henchmen in tow, standing up to the Gotham Police force, shaking his fist in the air as he declares in his sweet Indian lilt: ‘VEE ARE ‘AVING THE ATOM BOMB AND VEE ARE BE GOING TO BE FUCKING YOU UP, RIGHTLY!’
Somehow, I just don’t think Gotham would buckle…
Oh, and another thing, why does Bruce Wayne keep his ‘I’m voicing a porno movie’ voice when he meets Cat Woman as Batman even though they both know he’s really Bruce Wayne? Wouldn’t she just go, ‘Dude, is your utility belt too tight or what?’
On Thursday, 24th January 2002 , Derek Guille broadcast this story on his afternoon program on ABC radio.
In March 1999 a man living in Kandos (near Mudgee in NSW, Australia ) received a bill for his as yet unused gas line stating that he owed $0.00.
He ignored it and threw it away. In April he received another bill and threw that one away too.
The following month the gas company sent him a very nasty note stating that they were going to cancel his gas line if he didn’t send them $0..00 by return mail.
He called them, talked to them, and they said it was a computer error and they would take care of it.
The following month he decided that it was about time that he tried out the troublesome gas line figuring that if there was usage on the account it would put an end to this ridiculous predicament.
However, when he went to use the gas, it had been cut off.
He called the gas company who apologised for the computer error once again and said that they would take care of it. The next day he got a bill for $0.00 stating that payment was now overdue.
Assuming that having spoken to them the previous day the latest bill was yet another mistake, he ignored it, trusting that the company would be as good as their word and sort the problem out.
The next month he got a bill for $0.00. This bill also stated that he had 10 days to pay his account or the company would have to take steps to recover the debt.
Finally, giving in, he thought he would beat the gas company at their own game and mailed them a cheque for $0.00. The computer duly processed his account and returned a statement to the effect that he now owed the gas company nothing at all.
A week later, the manager of the Mudgee branch of the Westpac Banking Corporation called our hapless friend and asked him what he was doing writing cheque for $0.00.
After a lengthy explanation the bank manager replied that the $0.00 cheque had caused their cheque processing software to fail. The bank could therefore not process ANY cheques they had received from ANY of their customers that day because the cheque for $0.00 had caused the computer to crash.
The following month the man received a letter from the gas company claiming that his cheque had bounced and that he now owed them $0.00 and unless he sent a cheque by return mail they would take immediate steps to recover the debt.
At this point, the man decided to file a debt harassment claim against the gas company. It took him nearly two hours to convince the clerks at the local courthouse that he was not joking.
They subsequently helped him in the drafting of statements which were considered substantive evidence of the aggravation and difficulties he had been forced to endure during this debacle.
The matter was heard in the Magistrate’s Court in Mudgee and the outcome was this:
The gas company was ordered to:
 Immediately rectify their computerised accounts system or Show cause, within 10 days, why the matter should not be referred to a higher court for consideration under Company Law.
 Pay the bank dishonour fees incurred by the man.
 Pay the bank dishonour fees incurred by all the Westpac clients whose cheques had been bounced on the day our friend’s had been processed.
 Pay the claimant’s court costs; and
 Pay the claimant a total of $1500 per month for the 5 month period March to July inclusive as compensation for the aggravation they had caused their client to suffer.
And all this over $0.00.
This story can also be viewed on the ABC website.
Who employs these idiots??
Remember, these “people” walk among us and breathe the same air we do. What is worse , they breed !
This is a true story.
Yelled at, sworn at, thumped at and chased by religious zealots. Santa goes toe to toe with Melbourne’s general public on the trams.
‘Do you get paid to act like an idiot?’ a middle-aged woman asked me while I re-adjusted the faux paunch in my Santa suit.
‘Yes,’ I said. ‘What’s your excuse?’
She thumped me with her hand bag then jumped off at the next tram stop.
While my last remark may have been duly met I did come to the conclusion that some of the general public had the manners befitting a horde of Orks at a Hobbit tea party.
In my short time as Santa Clause on the Melbourne city circle tram, I had been bailed up by screaming drunks, ‘WHERE’S ME FRIGGIN BIKE, SANTA?!’; had my beard yanked down when I had mentioned to one sad individual that it was Christmas, that he should cheer up, that things could be worse, ‘like working in a bank’ – which, to my horrid surprise, he was; abused by Middle Park snobites for not singing Jingle Bells with enough allegro; had lewd remarks made by a gaggle of nurses whether Santa could fill their stockings; and lastly, repeatedly asked as my glasses steamed up, ‘Gee, you must be hot in that suit, eh, Santa?’
While most of these incidents were like water off a nun’s back, there was one thing that had me ready to Rudolph someone’s nose – asking for chocolate.
Despite making it clear to everyone that the chocolate in my Santa Sack was for children only (though I admit I readily helped myself to them), this did not dissuade adults. Some were positively rabid.
‘You don’t understand me. I want my chocolate!’ an American woman snipped at me with a tone that suggested I had infringed upon her constitutional rights, and then, as if I should care, ‘I CAME ALL THE WAY FROM KENTUCKY, MISTER!’
Maybe I should’ve relented but it was much more satisfying seeing a fully grown adult screaming for a Freddo Frog in forty degree heat.
‘What your name, mister?’
‘Don’t get snitchy with me. Your full name.’
‘I’m reporting you! I’m REPORTING YOU!’
I moved away from her to the end of the tram and plied my Christmas charms on a five year old boy and presented him with a chocolate the Kentucky woman had screamed for.
To my surprise, his father snatched it out of my hands.
‘Hey, that ‘s – ‘
‘NO! NOOOOOOOO!’ he barked, his eyes wild. ‘We’re Jewish!’.
Apparently, I was supposed to know.
As he left in cloud of huff, I shouted in my big Santa voice, door open and pointing to the gold reindeers affixed to the side of the tram, dancing in the fake snow, ‘WHICH PART OF “CHRISTMAS TRAM” DIDN’T YOU GET?!”
But no nothing prepared me for what I was about to experience on my last day: What does Santa do when he gets motion sickness?
There I was during a verse of ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ when I felt the sudden urge to purge. I ran to the back of the tram, barking like a seal to the driver’s compartment (it was an old W class tram), children and parents grabbing at me while I tried not to ho-ho-ho into their laps.
Unfortunately, the kids had followed me and their faces were nowpressed up against the partition window. Thus I found myself with the vexing question of how I was going to hurl? Would I simply rip the beard aside and break the magic for the kids or stay in character and let the muck pump and strain through it?
But before I knew it I was retching into the chocolate esky bag, beard above the top lip and doubled over. I could hear the cries of children ‘What’s wrong with Santa? What’s wrong with Santa?’ then suddenly fade as horrified parents yanked them away from ‘that thing at the back of the tram’.
I felt the tram stop. The driver’s face appeared and said or rather ordered me off at Swanston Street. I did, bag over the shoulder, soupy contents splooshing now like a ruptured spleen, only to be pulled into a firing line of Nikons from Japanese tourists. ‘Just won foto! Just won foto!’
I held one polite frozen moment then broke rank to the nearest bin, flipped up the beard and at last gave it a good ol’ ho-ho-hoooooooooo!
When I finished, the Japanese had gone. In their place was a small woman with a determined smile. She shoved a card in my hand. ‘Even Santa needs to get to heaven.’
I realised then, that yes, yes at last, the inevitable had happened: I was sick of being Santa.
This is from my ‘I HATE MELBOURNE AIRPORT’ Facebook page. It’s a page for venting your frustrations about Melbourne Airport.
Hopefully, all this whining might be able to get media attention, hopefully we’ll be able to get them to change their policies, hopefully…Father Christmas might really exists. Yes, I’m micturating in the metaphorical wind and I’ll admit defeat now. I think you get my point. Here’s my toxic experience on a recent trip to Bali (don’t judge me! We only wore our thongs on the plane!).
‘Your good-natured friends have agreed, under some duress, to drive across town and are now red-eyed with the pain of getting up at some un-Godly hour to drive you through what is now peak hour traffic to Tullamarine Airport. The conversations are short and snappy because they know they’ll be forced to pay for parking for the price of a mortgage on the space itself.
You never hear from them again.
You scrounge for trolleys which cost the princely sum of $8 for the two. Within a heart beat the term ‘Bastards!’ flies off your lips and flung a bit louder to ‘Greedy Bastards’ when you find out that you’re being charged the price of a cinema ticket to have a bit of cling film whicked around your luggage in case you get ‘Chappelled’.
You then get stuck in the Virgin Check-In line that is moving at the sound of glaciers melting because ‘That Very Greedy Bastard, Mr Branson’ is too busy returning dividends to his shareholders and thus, for the sake of cost-cutting, does not open the remaining six check-in desks.
By now, you are out of pocket by $33 and another term blurts: ‘Greedy ‘Effing Bastards.’
Then off to Immigration and you notice there’s an improvement on the Branson Queue – it’s longer! Melbourne Airport Management, ‘Bigger Greedier Bastards’, are also too busy providing dividends to their shareholders to have more than six desks open. The line sprouts all the way back to the car park like a never-ending complaining caterpillar: ‘BASTARDS, BASTARDS, EFFING BASTARDS!’
You’re then herded back and forth like Australian cattle destined for an Indonesian abattoir while an out-of-work actor in an orange jacket spruiks the obvious ‘STAY IN LINE!’ (like, where were we intending to go? Oh, that’s right, on a plane! Surprised he wasn’t carrying a cattle prod), then corralled into Duty Free to be chased by shop assistants who hope you’ll knock over their expensive bottles of Dior that you’ll be forced to purchase).
Then into another line to buy a $4 coffee, go through security where you have to get rid of the $4 coffee and when you ask ‘Why?’ they say ‘They’re could be something in it’ and when you say ‘What? Caffeine?’ you get the special search (shoes off, belt off, pants off…you know where this is going. ‘No, I don’t think you’ll find an expresso up there, Officer. Let me down a pint of milk and I might be kind enough to brew you a cappuccino. I’ll withhold the flakes’) buy another coffee ($4.50 now because you passed an invisible border) and finally, finally, you get to the boarding gate with five minutes to spare where you immolate into flames of abuse when an epiphany smacks you in the face: ‘SO THIS IS WHY TERRORISTS TARGET AIRPORTS?’
Flying used to be fun. Now it’s a never-ending tedium of queues, tiresome rules and expensive ones at that. You feel cheap and used like an airline vomit bag. The Greedy Effing Bastards have had their way with you again and as it’s the only major airport in Victoria you’ll know that you’ll consent to this ritual abuse once again screaming as the plane roars into the stratosphere ‘I HATE EFFING MELBOURNE AIRPORT!’
Ah, to think it used to be so much more…a paddock!
See ‘I HATE MELBOURNE AIRPORT’ on facebook and vent your spleen!