Comedy turns controversial: Lawrence Mooney as Malcolm Turnbull


As the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival drew to a close, Lawrence Mooney was in fine form in his concluding performance as Malcolm Turnbull. 

The show which is titled ‘An Evening with Malcolm Turnbull’ is a satirical and controversial insight into the life of the current Australian Prime Minister.

Mooney began performances for the festival on Wednesday 28th March and ended on Sunday 22nd April. A total of 23 shows, the comedian dyed his hair, pushed his ears forward with blue tack, dressed up in a suit, and adopted many of Mr Turnbull’s traits including a spot on impression of his voice.

With the overuse of phrases like ‘Good on you’ and ‘Parli-ament’, Mooney became a fairly parallel version of Turnbull.

While making digs at Turnbull himself, Mooney also tore shreds into notable members of the Parliament like Bill Shorten, Michaelia Cash, Eric Abetz and recently disgraced former deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, whilst making inappropriate but hilarious references to Turnbull’s wife, Lucy.

The show which ran for an hour felt like it was over in a second, with Mooney impressing audiences as he was able to stay in character for the duration of the show.

The ‘Evening with Malcolm’ gave the crowd a insight into Mooney’s personal views and his disdain for almost everyone in power.

At one point of the show, he asks the audience whether they were a Labor, Liberal or Greens voter. With the discussion of voting often being an unspoken topic among Australians, the very few audience members who were brave enough to answer, were soon mocked and laughed at.

For example, one woman in the audience claimed that she was a Greens voter. In character as Turnbull, he responded with a quote along the lines of, “Yes, exactly what I imagine a Greens voter to look like – unkempt and dirty…”

The crowd were kept laughing throughout the duration of the show which was presented in the format of an evening talk show hosted by Malcolm Turnbull. With strobe lights and a presenter voiceover, the comedic performance was almost like the audience was watching the filming of an actual live television show.

Interviewing a member of the audience, Mooney highlighted the popular joke that Malcolm Turnbull is believed to think himself above the rest of the Australian public, by refusing to shake his guest’s hand, as the guest could be considered a ‘bogan’ – he was a ‘tradie’ from Melbourne’s outer south-eastern suburb of Berwick. 

Beginning the show and finishing the show the same way, the song ‘You’re the Voice’ was blasting in the background. Mooney awkwardly sang along, miming some lyrics which was soon realised to be a dig at the footage of Malcolm Turnbull being caught out not knowing the lyrics of John Farnham’s classic hit at the Commonwealth Games earlier this month.

Clever, witty, and relevant, Mooney delivers an A-grade performance which left the audience wanting more. With his dry humour and expertise in interacting with the crowd, Lawrence Mooney earns himself a well deserved 9 out of 10.



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