Tickets now available for the critically
acclaimed show starring Warren Fahey & Max Cullen as Henry Lawson and
When: Wed 17th Feb at 6:30pm
Where: 4 Church Sreet, Mudgee
Call 6372 6726 or pop in to book!
Five Questions with Warren Fahey
1. What's the best part about portraying the legendary Banjo
In 2005 ABC Books commissioned me to edit the centenary edition of
Paterson's classic collection of bush songs. Originally published in 1905
as 'Old Bush Songs' the book was a vital link between the bush and the
city. Around the time he wrote 'Waltzing Matilda' Paterson realised
Australia's was changing forever, the bulk of our population was moving
from the bush to the cities, where work was available in commerce and
manufacturing. He also realised the old bush songs would disappear so he
wrote to newspapers requesting readers to send any old songs,
particularly those of gold fossickers, shearers, drovers etc to him for
publication. In doing so he became our first folk song collector. I have
certainly followed in his footsteps as I firmly believe these songs are
signposts to who we are as a unique people. Australian identity was born
in the bush and we should always celebrate our pioneering past. When I
get into costume as Banjo I feel like I have a responsibility to his
early work, it's a wonderful feeling to assume the personality of someone
2. In what ways do you think Banjo Paterson and Henry
Lawson were influential to Australian culture?
Both poets did Australia a great service. They took the early myths of
legendary bush workers, often ordinary people, and fashioned them into
stories and poems and songs that told of our history, our heritage, in
our language. They spoke to us as mates and used familiar bush lingo like
'fair dinkum' and 'mateship' and 'true blue'. Thy also provided an
important bridge, often romanticised, especially by Paterson, for those
Australians who had been born on the land and found themselves working
and living in the 'big smoke'm of the cities. They made us feel good
about ourselves as we continued to search for our national identity.
3. Favourite Banjo quote?
Paterson used humour in a special way. His 'galloping rhymes' were
heavily influenced by his admiration of Rudyard Kipling yet they had a
definite Australianess that rang true with both bush and city people.
There was a time when most Australians could recite a Paterson work,
especially 'The Man From Snowy River', 'The Geebung Polo Club' and, of
course, 'Clancy of the Overflow'. I love his use of language and how his
poetry, and there's a huge amount of it, had such colour and movement. My
favourite will always be 'Clancy of the Overflow' because I love the
dreaming quality of the cityslicker in his office wishing he could swap
with the drover's life. My favourite Paterson quote is his description of
sheep. "The hard, resentful look on the faces of all bushmen comes from a
long course of dealing with merino sheep. The merino dominates the bush,
and gives to Australian literature its melancholy tinge, its despairing
pathos. The poems about dying boundary riders, and lonely graves under
mournful she-oaks, are the direct outcome of the poet's too close
association with that soul-destroying animal. A man who could write
anything cheerful after a day in the darfting-yards would be a freak of
nature." (from The Merino Sheep 1917)
4. Favourite Lawson quote?
Henry was far too keen on the drink. It was his downfall in many
ways yet, like Paterson, he managed to write a massive amount of poetry
and prose. He had a tendency to get maudlin and, I suspect, if alive
today he would be analysed as bio-polar. Whatever the case he had a
brilliant way with words. There are so many great Lawson quotes. When
Henry travelled to England he commented about Australia: "It's the best
country to get out of I was ever in."
5. What type of beer do you think Banjo and Henry would drink if
they came in to the Brewery today?
Henry, depending on his mood and pocket, would drink the brewery dry. He
preferred drink that was paid for by other people and was known to
scribble a verse out for patrons who shouted. I suspect he'd start with
the Porter and end with whatever is left. Banjo, despite popular opinion,
enjoyed a drink, preferring whiskey over beer, however, being a man of
temperate behaviour, would no doubt choose the Mudgee Light Beer.