Chasing the Lollyman – Melbourne season, La Mama, Carlton. July 2010. Review by Martin Ball, The Age, 16 July 2010.
Chasing the Lollyman★★★★
Over the past decade there have been a number of solo shows in which Aboriginal actors have explored stories of identity: from Deborah Cheetham's White Baptist Abba Fan, to Tammy Anderson's I Don't Wanna Play House, to Noel Tovey's Little Black Bastard.
Now comes Mark Sheppard telling his story in Chasing the Lollyman — except that this show is much less a personal narrative and more a rollicking comic entertainment with social satire on the side.
Perhaps the first thing that needs to be said about Chasing the Lollyman is that it is a lot of fun. Sheppard quickly has the audience eating out of his hand with quirky skits such as "Finding Your Inner Aboriginal" or imagining an episode of Neighbours after blackfellas have moved into Ramsay Street. One of the most moving sketches is Sheppard giving a speech to the nation as the first black prime minister of Australia — now wouldn't that be something!
There is some very clever political satire, but Sheppard never lets earnestness get in the way of a good joke, nor does he spare his own mob from bearing the brunt of the jest.
Above all, Chasing the Lollyman is about celebrating the talents of Mark Sheppard — and there is a lot to admire, from his evocative dancing to his wry commentary about growing up black (and gay) in Australia.