04:11:10 :::: radioShirley presents “Lindsay Kemp in Oz!”

Greetings Shirleyphiles and welcome to another 30 minutes or so of low-fi lovliness!

This show deviates somewhat from the usual formula as we bring you all a very
special and rather rare audio piece. When the faithful manservant was a wee lad
and living in the ’70’s he had a penchant for lining up his little tape deck and taping
lots of audio from the television. On this particular occasion it was imperative that
he capture the audio from a documentary about one of modern dance theatre’s
most brilliant and influential performers, Lindsay Kemp. mr.K, being a huge
David Bowie fan at the time knew only too well of the influence mr.Kemp had on
his rock star du jour. The grubby and inquisitive teen that he was, was also well
versed in the writings of Jean Genet. In a state of high anticipation, the teenager
pushed the record button as this documentary began, then sat back to have his
mind blown away by sound and vision, much of it forever burned into his brain
to this day. If only some of the vision from this documentary could be traced or
we had the technology to data dump from one’s brain ….

This is the audio track from a 1975/76 Australian TV show called ‘Funky Road’
on ABC-TV documenting The Lindsay Kemp Company’s first Australian tour in 1975.
The piece was directed by the late Stephan MacLean (The Boy from Oz, Starstruck etc).
Stephen MacLean interviews Lindsay Kemp, Jack Birkett (aka The Incredible Orlando)
and David Haughton. When Kemp & Co. finally brought “Flowers” to Brisbane,
his home town on another tour,, mr.K practically lived in the theatre (Her Majestys)
where it was performed to catch as many performances that he could and was thrilled
to gate crash one of Lindsay Kemp’s classes. He was utterly unprepared for the occasion,
intensely naive and nervous and yet after … forever changed. A formative theatrical
and life experience without a doubt!

So Shirleyphiles, its with great pleasure that we bring you this little slice of audio
wonder which documents one of the most influential theatrical tours to ever visit Australia.
Its at once hilarious and illuminating as it sheds some light on the brilliant Lindsay Kemp
& his key company members’ process, thoughts about mime and performance in general.

Until next time kids, take care and play fair!
*be smooched*
radioShirl and mr. Kenneth

Interested in discovering more about Lindsay Kemp & his Company?
A couple of excellent Facebook groups:

The Lindsay Kemp Company : a fabulous archive!
Lindsay Kemp’s Last Dance : a documentary in production!


About radioShirley



  1. pog

    Dear dear Lindsay… when he says ‘I loved being damaged’ it shows me such a big heart, someone who understands we’re all here to use and abuse each other, since we’re not the same and not perfect at all. But we can help each other while we’re here, and only if we’re not afraid to keep our hearts open, no matter what. What a shame, such a kerfuffle about to get a costume… Hah, is it Lindsay singing amongst others ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ while taking a shower? 😉 Lovely, indeed. Thanks so very very much dear LaShirl and his ever so committed Mr. Ken. *smoochachos amigos*

    • radioshirley

      Glad you enjoyed it pog dahlink!
      That is the voice of Jack Birkett (aka The Incredible Orlando), who says he loves being damaged and is also responsible for Over the Rainbow and other songs. A very VERY funny man. When Jack goes off on his rant about his costume “and if there is no costume I don’t perform and I’m going to Scotland … NOW!” still cracks me up. I remember so clearly that scene in the doco of Jack being lead by David Haughton in the rain on their way to the theatre … so many bits and pieces spring to mind … so much gold in the audio … wonderful stuff.

      thx for stopping by as always & commenting.
      merci mon petit chou ;=)

  2. What a great interview, he sounds like Marc Bolan meets Mick Jagger..and not a trace of a scouse accent.

    Speaking of Bowie have you checked out Michael Chapman – it sounds like someone doing a Bowie impersonation, but in fact, Bowie established himself by borrowing Chapman’s vocal tone, producer – Gus Dudgeon and guitarist – Mick Ronson.

    Here if you fancy lending an ear…

    • radioshirley

      Thanks for stopping by, Mondo!

      And yes indeed, the Dame sure copped a bit in his career. Arguably Ronno brought a lot to the mix … and db’s ensuing success. Shirl and myself came across MC last year via an Oz Ronno devotee and were suitably gobsmacked with musical references all over the place. Regardless, ‘Rainmaker’ & ‘FQSurvivor’ are very very fine recordings in themselves.

      Now, when I can twist Shirl’s pearls – not an easy thing believe me – into allowing a “folk”episode, MC will certainly get dropped in.


  3. How amazing is this! What a fantastic piece of archive. I hope it doesn’t seem too forward (!) but you may be interested in the documentary I’ve been making over the past 3 years about Lindsay and Company. There is more info here: http://www.lindsaykempslastdance.com and a facebook group here: http://tiny.cc/uio0d (brand new!) where I have put up some nice photos. Absolute treat finding this on a saturday night!!

  4. radioshirley

    Lalique 1924,
    How exciting!!! I am so thrilled that someone is finally doing this! I look forward to your documentary immensely! Bouquets to you! And I am very very happy that you found the piece on Lindsay’s first tour of Australia here, via radioShirley.
    My very best wishes, mr.Kenneth and radioShirl

  5. Vicious

    Thank you once again Mr K & La Shirl!!! Can’t wait to hear this, always fascinating to hear the stories of creative people. I’m so glad your tape still worked so that you could transfer and preserve this.

    • radioshirley

      We’re glad too, ~Vic.
      You must have missed it when I posted it up on BA all those years ago. Hope you enjoy!
      mr.K & radioShirl x

  6. pog

    LOL I feel rather chouchou now, and wish I’d read your whole introduction of the show… Still it’s better to learn later than never. And so many great things shared here. Thank you Mondo and Lalique 1924!

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