WAKENING HARD AT SUNRISE

What a strange bundle of improperly-rinsed washing that ol’ SUNRISE breakfast television show is! Dirty laundry at bargain basement prices! But ‘get in quick’ or all the content will be gone.

 

Now, this may be old news to some, but this story has stayed with me since the beginning of February and I still feel compelled to write about it.

 

Some weeks ago, a dear friend put up a link to watch the STC’s SPRING AWAKENING segment the following morning. So, to please my friend, and with the bitter pill of experience of SUNRISE behind me, I, as Frank’n’Furter would say, waited for the file to load shivering with fear, loathing and antici….  [go on, you say it].

 

The SPRING AWAKENING cast were still in rehearsal on that Monday, so my focus here is not on what I thought or did not think about their work, the interpretation of the work or the dilution of the lyric for the time slot. The reviews are out and the audience’s will make their own decisions about what they see.

 

What I am writing about is the amount of time that was given to the slot and then, in the guise of a ‘parental warning’, SPRING AWAKENING was unceremoniously ‘dissed’ by the SUNRISE TEAM. One has to ask the question: “Why are they bagging the content of their own television program on air?”

 

So the cast of SPRING AWAKENING were introduced to us by Fi Fi Box who seemed genuinely enthused by what she was about to present (she would have been there for 1 or 2 camera rehearsals).

 

And the cast performed a number from the show with a changed lyric. When it was finished, Ms Box interviewed the young lead. She then threw back to the hosts.

 

Now remember, the online description of the brekky show goes like this: “Sunrise delivers balanced news, views, entertainment and humour…”.

 

“Well it’s not Disney, is it?” Began the ‘balanced’ commentary. It wasn’t balanced at all, it was a concerted one-sided chorus of disapproval. A chorus that included the fact that the musical deals with issues of abortion, sexuality and homosexuality as if they were somehow irrelevant to our youth. I don’t know about you, but when I was a hormone-raging adolescent, these issues were bloody relevant. 

 

It was somehow important to sensationalise that ‘group-fiddling’ was also handled in the show. So the song’s title had to be changed from ‘Everything’s F–ked’ to ‘Everything’s Stuffed’ but we don’t dilute a description of the actual show.

 

I spoke to one of the show’s stars, Helen Dallimore, on [email protected] shortly afterwards. Apart from saying that this musical (based on a play written in 1891) was hugely ahead of it’s time, she said about the segment that, “we all thought it was unfortunate…and not particularly helpful, sort or reverse publicity really. But you’ve got to have a laugh at it.”

 

A laugh, indeed.

 

The final button was from the female ‘Sunrise’ presenter who let us know that she wouldn’t be taking her kids to see it with a really not-felt-at-all ‘Thank you’ to the cast in a dismissive, sing-songy voice.

 

I need to say that on the same program, the very next morning, a MOST sensitive segment was put to air with Shelley Sargent, the national spokesperson for PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays). 

 

Clearly, Homosexuality is tolerable on a Tuesday but we should not mention it on a Monday.

 

Ya gotta give it to ’em though. They’re consistent. Inconsistently.

 

You can always send your topic suggestions through to me at:

 

[email protected]

 

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