An empty chair, a missing Premier, a poignant metaphor

by Paul Russell, The Spectator, 12 April 2017

Mr Russell is the Director of HOPE, a leading anti-euthanasia group in Australia. In this article he reflects on the recent Melbourne performances of Assisted Suicide: The Musical (created and starring the legendary Liz Carr).

Part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Liz’s show is incredibly funny as it is poignant. Simply put; it is a great night out designed to make people think about the issue of assisted suicide. Pegged by Liz as a ‘Ted Talk with show tunes’ the show is a rollicking feast of songs in the great tradition of show tunes interspersed with Liz talking to the audience about her experiences and concerns about assisted suicide.

Each night in the auditorium a lonely, empty chair faces Liz and the cast during each performance. A sign on the chair reads: “Following an invitation from Liz Carr and Company – RESERVED – Premier Daniel Andrews.”

The chair has remained empty.

Readers will instantly understand that the Premier is an important figure in such debates having the ‘yeah or nay’ on what is debated in the parliament and what debate time is allocated. Moreso for Daniel Andrews in this instance because the move towards an assisted suicide bill expected to be introduced later this year was his call, with his endorsement and his support.

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