Hachiko_SeeSaw-Leaderboard-1-e1656642577423.jpg
Reviews/Fringe World Festival/Theatre

Wheels on fire

3 February 2019

Fringe World review: Tim Ferguson – A Fast Life on Wheels ·
Midar Room, State Theatre Centre, February 1 ·
Review by David Zampatti ·

It’s impossible not to feel sorry for Tim Ferguson. Not that he’d want us to. It’s also impossible not to forgive him for feeling sorry for himself. And we do.

Ferguson, of course, was the tall (unlike Paul McDermott) non-conversationalist (unlike Richard Fidler) Doug Anthony All Star whose career – or at least that part of it – was cut short by multiple sclerosis.

Now wheelchair-bound, crippled in one arm, hard of hearing, dim of sight, foggy of memory and nappied of plumbing, he’s a walking, well, a wheeling, testament to the sheer horribleness of a disease that basically lurks in the brain looking for things to attack.

Ferguson is, of course, something of an attack dog himself, and there’s some delight in watching his assault on convention – and unconvention – through the video clips from the All Stars and shows like Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush that liberally sprinkle the show.

His description of Nine network emperor Kerry Packer smothering him in a bear hug and telling him how everyone loves him (that’s how the very rich sack you, says Ferguson) was comedy gold; there was nothing funny, though, in a clip showing him interminably and painfully walking to the door with the aid of a rollator to let his helper in.

There were also some revealing anecdotes, in particular the story of his father, Tony, a celebrated war correspondent, who ventured in to Cambodia during the Vietnam War to interview journalist and accused traitor Wilfred Burchett; Ferguson Snr sent his tapes back to the ABC which, under political pressure, burned them. Don’t think ABC-bashing is a recent innovation!

Ferguson, as he tells us, has forged a new career as a motivational speaker and trainer, and he speaks with some pride about his success.

I admire his courage; I also admire his chutzpah.

I suspect he needs lots of both.

Tim Ferguson – A Fast Life on Wheels is on at the State Theatre Centre until February 3.

Pictured top: Tim Ferguson pulling out all stops.

Like what you're reading? Support Seesaw.

Author —
David Zampatti

David Zampatti has been a student politician, a band manager, the Freo Dockers’ events guy, a bar owner in California, The West Australian’s theatre critic and lots of other crazy stuff. He goes to every show he’s reviewing with the confident expectation it will be the best thing he’s ever seen.

Past Articles

  • Tributes to musical idols light up stage

    A cabaret veteran and opera performer bring very different interpretations of the greats of classical, jazz and pop in the second week of the Perth International Cabaret Festival, writes David Zampatti

  • Life is a cabaret festival

    From an exquisite performance by Lior to mashed up anthems of gender equality, the opening weekend of the Perth International Cabaret Festival provides plenty of reasons to come hear the music play, writes David Zampatti.

Read Next

  • KAte Miller_Heidke smiles on stage as she holds aloft a shaker and a tambourine Kate’s creativity in full flight
    Reviews

    Kate’s creativity in full flight

    7 July 2022

    Kate Miller-Heidke brings insight and joy with her long-awaited Child in Reverse tour. Bourby Webster discovers a musical genius at the peak of her powers.

    Reading time • 4 minutesMusic
  • One of the works at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery: a stylised screen print of a woman screaming. Women artists form a powerful chorus
    Reviews

    Women artists form a powerful chorus

    5 July 2022

    Vibrating with tension and energy, ‘Sustaining the Art of Practice’ is an exhibition that amplifies the voices of women, reports Jaimi Wright.

    Reading time • 5 minutesVisual Art
  • A person in a black shirt looks down at a cardboard dog he's holding to his chest. Cardboard puppy steals hearts
    Reviews

    Cardboard puppy steals hearts

    4 July 2022

    Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s holiday production Hachiko: The Loyal Dog moves young writer Bethany Stopher with its bewitching cardboard creations.

    Reading time • 6 minutesTheatre

Cleaver Street Studio

Cleaver Street Studio

Cleaver Street Studio