Who wrote this show?

Gillian M Wadds Image

Having definitely become a silly old bugger myself, I’ve learnt that there are two ways to handle all the things that happen as we grow older. We can cry or we can laugh. I choose to laugh.

I’ve spent most of my life writing various things – from plagiarised fairy tales as a child to short stories, pantomimes, serious and funny plays, junior novels and occasionally, poetry. (More details about my writing here) Recently I spent seven years working at the Titanic Theatre Restaurant in Williamstown, Victoria where I was writer and director of various shows – which always ended up in the disastrous sinking! This was a wonderful education in writing parodies of songs to make people laugh – despite the known outcome.

When I decided to write about growing old (which, let’s face it, also has a known outcome), it was this experience that made me choose a light-hearted musical as the vehicle.

The songs came first. Choose a subject such as taking pills, becoming invisible, fighting bureaucracy, learning about computers – the list is endless – and there will be a song about it.

Next, find the characters who are going to sing them. A farmer, a truckie, a school teacher, a banker, an electrician, an artist, a singer..? How to choose? Finally, four characters became settled into their roles and the story about them began to write itself.

Well, it usually happens something like that for me.

And the title? It was Bob Hawke who said, under his breath: “Silly old bugger” when he was accosted by an age pensioner in Whyalla. That remark was reported in all the papers and it has gone down in history, becoming a quintessential Australian expression. As we get older, we all recognise that we are indeed, all silly old buggers – and proud of it!

And I’m proud of this show because all the silly old buggers and their children LOVE it! And so do I.

Gillian M. Wadds