The man best known for instigating a hunger strike in a local record store and threatening to drown himself in a bucket of water because Melbourne radio station 3XY would not play his songs is the subject behind long-running play 3XY OR I DIE – the story of punk rocker Ron Rude 1978-81, with a hint of 2012 in this year’s new season.
Winning Best Original Production at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2002, the show is this year directed by Ross Daniels (Spontaneous Broadway, Punked, The Transposed Man – Best Comedy Adelaide Fringe 2011) and on the opening night of 3XY or I Die, award-winning playwright Kieran Carroll introduces the 2012 version at the top of the Gasometer Hotel in Collingwood which offers a fitting dark and atmospheric setting for Rude, played by Mark E Lawrence (City Homicide, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Rush), to grace the stage with wide-eyed gusto and launch into the first scene with his band of Unforgettables.
Featuring Mulgrave Gallup (bass), Mr Cinema (drums), Con Venom (guitar) and Gisborne Irresistible (keyboards), together the group performs early Ron Rude songs between acts, painting a comical and entertaining picture of a musician hailed, “Belgrave’s public nuisance number one.” The musician who waged a hunger strike, threatened to drown himself, once chained himself to Molly Meldrum’s fence, and fledged his artistic ambitions in the 70s era while sticking it to the conservative Melbourne music scene of the time.
Lawrence exudes the real-life punk rock star persona of Rude on stage and the play’s plot gives an insight into an artist who fought for independent music to try and bridge the cultural gap between alternative and mainstream music in inner Melbourne 20 years ago, and the alienation of people in the suburbs. A fabulous play that offers a clever and witty snapshot of the eccentric intricacies of Ron Rude; his pursuit to record and release independent records and the adventures he has along the way.
3XY or I Die is presented by Type Faster Productions and was shown in Melbourne over the weekend and will be in Sydney next weekend.
Sunday June 10 and Monday June 11
The Old Fitzroy Theatre, 129 Dowling Street, Woolloomooloo
All shows 8pm
For tickets visit www.rocksurfers.org or call 1300 241 167. Tickets $20 ($15 concession) at the door.