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February 10, 2016

First Dog on the stage

The Garden of Unearthly Delights opens tomorrow, and – for a couple of nights late in its tenure – buried amid the strong men, sparkly costumes and offbeat cabarets, you'll find cartoonist First Dog on the Moon patiently waiting to walk you through a one-hour PowerPoint presentation.

  • Words: Farrin Foster

The change of Liberal party leadership affected us all, but for political cartoonist First Dog on the Moon (Andrew Marlton) it had deeply personal and lasting impact.


An Evening with First Dog on the Moon is showing in The Garden of Unearthly Delights on March 12 & 13.

His Adelaide Fringe show, An Evening with First Dog on the Moon, was first conceived before Malcolm Turnbull deposed Tony Abbott. The changing of guard has buggered everything up.

“This show had an actual structure to it,” says First Dog. “But they’re all Tony Abbott jokes. It’s really annoying because Tony was great.

“I will have to update it because… the show was about how to deal with how terrible that Government was, which was funny. So it will have to be about how to deal with this other Government, which is terrible but just in a different way.”

This show is the second time the cartoonist has ventured off paper and onto stage. Apart from his weekly segments on Radio National, and his regular cartoons for The Guardian Australia, he could previously be seen performing the “one-hour PowerPoint presentation” he called Cartoobs and Other Typos.

An Evening takes a similar format, except First Dog points out it is really a “one hour KeyNote presentation because that’s the Apple one”. And although it sounds more like a conference session than comedy, he promises its quite funny.

“It sounds terrible but there’s a lot of flexibility and stupidity that can be crammed into an hour of pictures and me talking. I still don’t understand why, but working with images and jokes and spoken word… for some reason lowers peoples’ resistance, and they laugh without even knowing why.

“Apparently this show is even better than the last one, although I haven’t seen either of them so I wouldn’t know.”  

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