About

 

Philip Quast and his radical toys

Philip Quast and his radical toys

Welcome to Situation Theatre, home to the creative work of Liam McLoughlin.

It all started when I was just ten years old, watching Philip Quast play Neville Craven in the Sydney production of the musical The Secret Garden. As a keen student of his Play School re-enactments of the Russian revolution with Big Ted (Tsar Nicholas II and Gemima (Lenin), I knew Quast's Marxist politics inside out. I remember thinking halfway through Act One ‘I want to grow up and create a website at least partially inspired by Quast’s potent blend of revolutionary politics and artistic practices’.

My support for the marriage rights of the arts and progressive politics has been longstanding, though not without adversity. Working at Woolworths aged 15, no matter how aesthetically innovative my arrangement of the cans of beans and sausages, a strong sense of alienation remained.

 
Head down to your local 'fresh food people' and get yourself some tinned sausages today!

Head down to your local 'fresh food people' and get yourself some tinned sausages today!

 

Another tough lesson came at age 16, during work experience for the Ensemble Theatre. I gave my best efforts to wow Tasma Walton at rehearsals with sophisticated tales of political and artistic interests. Still, Blue Heelers' best actor (get over yourself John Woods) just saw me as an awkward teenager. My love for her remained unconsummated and I was given yet another reason to dislike Rove Live.

Tasma Walton on the left, pictured with her fellow officer

Tasma Walton on the left, pictured with her fellow officer

The blows continued during my extras career on Home and Away. I tried my heart out to convey a nuanced understanding of race and class with a few well chosen background facial expressions. Yet I can’t help thinking that I, and therefore the show, failed in this regard.

Haunted by these failures, I sought refuge at the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts. While the lab-coat proved a waste of $23.75 during my psychology major, the beret I bought for my philosophy and politics lectures was a real boon. After digressing into English tutorials about how Proust was surely taking the piss with such long sentences, I ended up with a top shelf Honours degree in politics, specifically climate justice. My markers said the font choice was second to none. Arial or Calibri is a fool’s paradise. Times New Roman forever. Or at least until I made this website.

Fuelled by correct ideas about social and environmental justice, I’ve since taken a 'mezze plate' or 'yum cha' approach to activism. I’ve tried the baba ganoush of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the hummus of UNICEF, the vine leaves of the NSW Reconciliation Council, and the tabouli of 350.org. I’ve also very much enjoyed the mixed dumplings of Friends of the Earth, The Greens, Solidarity and the Refugee Action Coalition. I would highly recommend all these groups to a friend, unless that friend was a wash out, in which case I’d suggest the Young Liberals.

    Yum cha

    Yum cha

Apart from dabbling with these tasty treats, for the last four years I've been working as an ESL teacher. My job is to prepare students, mostly from Asia and the Middle-East, for Australian universities. I do this with a series of colourful darts and stunning portraits of John Howard, Philip Ruddock, Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton.

At the start of 2014 I circled back to the insights of the young Philip Quast and created Situation Theatre, dedicated to ‘Activism. Arts. Chuckles.’  While the site philosophy is strictly Quastian, its name is inspired by the Situationist International: a French band of revolutionary thinkers and avant-garde artists who had much to do with France’s Biggest Morning Tea, which happened in May 1968.

 
Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle is to the Situationists as Spot Privatises His Lunch is to the Liberal Party.

Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle is to the Situationists as Spot Privatises His Lunch is to the Liberal Party.

 

Here you’ll find feature articles, satire, reviews and videos which are dedicated to fans of tinned meat, Blue Heelers and Home and Away everywhere.

Contact me on Facebook or Twitter below, or at info@situationtheatre.com.

 
 
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