Skip to main content
See if you can find the skateboarding santa.

Book Review: The Uncollected Plays of Shaun Micallef

Shaun's expression is one of
'are you really sure you want to read this?'
Shaun Micallef is one of Australia's premier comedian, actor, writer, and media personalities responsible for numerous comedy TV shows, and generally leaning towards surrealist humor that often gives him a more unique perspective on finding what's funny in any given situation.

He's actually one of my favorite humorists working in entertainment, hence I was looking forward to reading his book, The Uncollected Plays of Shaun Micallef.

You would think a man who writes a lot of contemporary, biting satire would be a sure thing, laugh a minute writer of short plays but unfortunately, this book was disappointing. I found it extremely challenging to read, and was constantly looking to see how many pages were left to endure of the various plays as I read them.

Part of the problem is the majority of the plays are based on historical themes that were not only before my time, but also before Shaun's time. We're talking bible stories, World Wars, and even a reimagining of The John Merrick story. The whole book is like reading the work of someone who hasn't updated their pop culture references in decades (or even centuries).

I feel a lot of the references just went over my head too because only highly educated people care about classic tales by historical authors like God (I'm pretty sure God probably had one or two ghost writers pen his/her/their book).

It's almost like he's channelling the themes that his influences, The Goons, Monty Python, Spike Milligan, Woody Allen, Barry Humphries etc. have all been known to write about, and not even getting close to their brilliance in making these subjects funny.

Perhaps the various plays really need to be performed in order to see the humor, but I found very little to even raise a smile. I could see the jokes coming, and the fourth wall interactions with the audience, used by different characters in several of the plays, started to wear thin.

It was all a bit strange because a lot of the jokes are exactly my style of humor and the reason I like Shaun's work. The real problem, I think, is I just didn't connect with any of the characters given how far removed most are from contemporary society.

In between the plays there are short chapters of 'advice' for playwrights which were actual highlights for me, as were the introductions to each play. I'm assuming the various anecdotes are real (but probably embellished) stories of how the plays came to be. Still not a lot of laughs here though either.

In the end, I think I would rather have been reading a Shaun Micallef autobiography than this collection of plays.

Definitely a book to read from a library. You'll only want to own it if you're a Shaun Micallef completionist. It feels like this book only exists because there's little chance of any of these plays being performed more than a handful of times if they're lucky.

If you must have it, purchase the book from Amazon using the link below.
The Uncollected Plays of Shaun Micallef


* This article contains Amazon Associate commission links that help keep this site free.

Comments

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

The Braille Skateboarding App - How it Changed My Mind on Switch Skating

My Profile on the Braille Skateboarding App. Braille Skateboarding launched it's new Skateboarding App worldwide on November 23rd, 2020. About a month prior to that they did a 'soft launch' via email for anyone living in Australia. I'm guessing this was to give the app a final test in the real world before launching it proper. Rather than explain what it is, watch Aaron Kyro, founder of Braille Skateboarding, run you through the app in the launch video below.  In a nutshell the app is virtually everything Braille has to offer accessed right from your phone, from tutorials to the Braille Army Community. The app is free but you can unlock more features if you upgrade to a paid membership. Braille App Trick List. One of the apps unique free features is keeping track of the tricks you've learned and giving you an overall score so you have some way to measure your progression. There is an extensive list of tricks, covering all types of skateboarding, categorized by diff

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Jo's new Art Studio/Conservatory. Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog,  Creating My Oddessey . Y ou should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse. We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against -

Update on my Cheap Skateboard Weeks Later

TET with $20.00 Mambo, Department Store Skateboard. In my previous post and video titled Can You Learn the Basics on a Cheap Skateboard? I began an experiment to see if basic, department store skateboards are at least good enough for beginners to get their first taste of skateboarding without spending a lot of money. (Spoiler - they are). Grrr Dog Popsicle  Skateboard See more deck shapes Just to reinforce my point I decided to film a follow up video a few weeks later showing that my cheap skateboard is still holding up to learning the basics. Admittedly I'm not the most hardcore of learner skaters when it comes to hours spent on the board. On average I manage around thirty minutes to an hour, five days a week. The point is that the board is still holding up to the tricks I've been learning despite my weight being about 16 kilos heavier than the maximum weight recommended for the board (50 kilos). Unlike those Youtube skaters that almost seem like their

One Week on Light n' Easy #lightneasy

My partner, Enigma, and I recently decided to try Light n' Easy to replace all our daily meals in an effort to eat healthier (and not have to think at all about cooking evening meals). Enigma is about to embark on her third week of their full menu but I caved after one and opted just to get the dinners.

TET Skateboards: Not Skateboarding for Seven Months - YouTube Channel Update Video

TET with Monkey Pizza Lifeline Skateboard. It's been a long time since I posted any video to my Extraordinary Tourist YouTube Channel . Approximately seven to eight months. This is because a year or to back I pivoted the channel into documenting my skateboarding progress, relearning my former skills, and then stopped skating due to pain occurring in both my feet. In the channel update video below I go into it in more detail but the short version is, I started to get pain in the top of both my feet, probably due to ongoing impact stress of skateboarding rather than any specific injury, coupled with very sharp, momentary pain between my toes of my back, 'pop', foot. I decided it was probably best to rest both my feet by not skateboarding for a while. While the pain was ongoing it didn't affect my ability to walk, only skateboarding seemed to aggravate it. I didn't expect to be not skating for this long. While my front foot has healed completely, my back, 'pop'

Course Review: YouTube for Bosses - Sunny Lenarduzzi. How to grow your YouTube Channel into a Business

YouTube for Bosses Free Mug...  or the most expensive mug  you'll ever buy? I've been subscribed to  Sunny Lenarduzzi's YouTube channel for a few years, learning a lot on how to grow a following on sites like YouTube and Instagram. If you have any interest in growing your own YouTube channel I'd highly recommend watching some of Sunny's videos on the subject.  Definitely explore her 2019 back catalogue for the most useful information. This year she's been on a bit of a 'being authentic' pivot that, personally, doesn't resonate all that much with me (but probably speaks volumes to anyone with similar experience). I'm not saying she shouldn't or isn't being authentic, it's just I didn't subscribe to hear stories about her life journey. To get back on track, Sunny runs a successful online business with her flagship course, YouTube for Bosses , a stand alone paid course that does act as something of a gateway to further paid (but opt