As The Shane Warne Musical opened in Melbourne this week, The Worst of Perth was able to catch up with former Perth boy and huge The Worst of Perth fan Jolyon James, who plays John the Indian Bookie in the show.
TWOP: Jolyon, the show already seems guaranteed to be a massive hit, I see that Shane Warne actually turned up for the opening?
JJ: Yeah, we all knew he’d love it. The whole show, every song is a hit and hilarious. It’s as much a celebration of Shane as anything else.
TWOP: You’re back in Perth with the show in March. Will you be catching up with any worsts? What’s your favourite?
JJ: I love it all. The Worst of Perth is brilliant. If I had to choose it would be the sculpture with the huge arse, or the painting of the Alsatian staring at the naked woman’s crack. Really, they’re all good. One of my favourite sites in the world.
TWOP: Brilliant? Would you say The Worst of Perth is a savage yet insouciant indictment of Perth art, design, culture and society?
TWOP: You’ve submitted quite a few Perth Worsts yourself to the site, do you want to let the readers know your user name?
JJ: I’d like to preserve the mystery. Let’s just say “Dolphin nipples” and leave it at that shall we?
TWOP: Fair enough. What about Paul Murray though, how shit is he?
JJ: Who’s that?
TWOP: C’mon, former mediocre editor of The West Australian, who transformed himself into Australia’s worst writer?
JJ: I don’t even read the Melbourne papers let alone The West. I sometimes check out the UK papers online, mostly the Guardian but that’s about it, so…
TWOP: I find it hard to believe that you’re a The Worst of Perth fan, and don’t have an opinion on how crap Paul Murray is?
JJ: Is he the one that you’re always getting stuck into who writes endlessly about walking his little dog and that another journo said smells like old farts and B.O.?
JJ: As I say, I don’t read the papers, but if The Worst of Perth says he’s crap, then that’s good enough for me. He doesn’t review theatre does he?
TWOP: Funny you should say that. He recently started straying into film reviewing. He prefers topics about which he is totally ignorant, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes all Brechtian on our arses in the near future. He’s a big fan of The Mamma Mia movie.
JJ: It’s not the world’s worst movie. Some good performances in there. As you know I was in the live version. The story is pretty incomprehensible, but it’s fun.
TWOP: How does playing in Mamma Mia differ from Shane Warne?
JJ: Oh totally different. The Shane Warne show is razor sharp clever as well as being hilarious. It’s also a very small cast, so the dynamic is very different from the big shows I’ve been in like Mamma Mia and Les Mis for example. The opening night was one of the best nights I’ve ever had in the theatre. The audience were exhausted from clapping. It’s one of the cleverest scripts I’ve ever seen, and the music is brilliant. Perth is going to be blown away by it. You’re the first city after Melbourne that gets it.
TWOP: What do you think of the use of the phrase “At first blush…”?
JJ: I don’t know.
TWOP: Paul Murray recently came out against the Gay Pride March in Perth. There are a lot of homosexuals in musical theatre aren’t there? How do you think they feel about Paul Murray?
JJ: I don’t know.
TWOP: OK, I’ll let you go. Thanks very much, and we’ll see you in Perth.
JJ: No problem. I’ll have a look at The West when we tour so I can answer your questions a little better. We’ll be at The Regal early March. My advice is buy tickets early. It will be sold out in hours. It’s going to be huge.
TWOP: Fantastic. Let me say at the outset, thank you.