The soul of the said John Winston Howard now inhabiting Max Gillies, miserable sinner, being charged with: Gross Violations of Commandments 5 and 8 Inhumanity and Perfidy, Equivocation and Mendacity, Uriah Heapish Pious Fraud, Hornswaggling Hypocrisy, Tergiversating Duplicity, Tarradiddling Trickery, Humbug Guile and Sham, shall be brought before the Supreme Bean, Linda Briskman for trial.
- The Blessed Julian Burnside to appear for the Prosecution
- The Late Phillip Adams as his first witness
- The Heavenly Melanie La Brooy as his second
- The sybilline Sue Ingleton as Devil’s Advocate
- HM Queen incarnate as jubilating Gerry Connolly as the first defence witness
- George W Bush, 2-dimensional with left foot operating mouth, as the second
- Saint Rod the Quantocrator officiating as the Tipstaff.
- SS Paul Keating and Android Blot in the choir and Alan Jones as Yappy the Parrot
- With assorted Video Recording Angels, Celestial Secret Policemen, Paradise Bouncers,
- Righteous Demonstrators (To Hell With Howard, Burn Johnnie Burn, Prince of Lies, etc)
- Agents Provocateurs and an Organist in attendance.
- Underpinned by Technical Angels viz:
- Holy Writ Management: Tim Robertson, Guy Rundle, Jonathon McNaughten, Graham Pitts
- Firmament Construction: Adrian Cherubin
- Opus Dei: Tim Robertson
- Supernatural Stage Management: Desiree Lane
- Vision: Image Control (Keith & Peter Webb)
- Vox (Radio mics) Cameron Parker (Inside Out Productions)
- Propaganda: Rob and Maggie Gerrand
- Props (halos, horns, clouds masks, placards etc): Trish Broom
- Heavenly Raiment: (tba)Rose Chong(?)
- Mammon/Lucre/Divine Afflatus: Max Dumais, John Timlin.
A Multitude of 2000 souls ascends the Town Hall steps. Rolf Harris sings “A Stairway to Heaven” over P/A Cardboard clouds adorn the entrance to the foyer.
In the foyer Louis Armstrong sings “O When the Saints” Hip-hoppers rap for the assassination of JWH. Suppressed.
Saint Rod appears winged haloed (maybe a hubcap) radio-microphoned. Perhaps he sound checks his mic in latin: Unus. Duo. Tres. Pax vobiscum. G-L-O-R-I-A Vanitas, vanitas Venite adoremus. Habeas corpus. Hosannah in excelsis. Ad infinitum. Et cetera.
Perhaps he holds a Holy Rood on which is mounted the Rubbery Fowl of Justice.
He knocks on, unlocks & opens Heaven’s Door unto the auditorium. He ushers the Multitude to their seats. Advises of by-law prohibiting harping & busking generally. Perhaps he projects Michelangelo’s Last Judgment as a seating plan. Perhaps he separates sheep from goats. Directs sheep upstairs. Goats into the stalls. Confides that goats have more fun.. Avers that God is on her mysterious way…
The Multitude seats itself.
FX: Sheep, Goats, Gnashing, Wailing, “O When the Saints” played on the organ. The stage with add-on rostra thrusts into the space with swivel chairs, tables set for Counsels and Defendant, a witness box and dock embellished in a rococo manner, all with microphones. Above, perhaps suspended from the organ loft, a projection screen.
Saint Rod ushers in Counsel for the Defence (black-gowned, wigged, horned with flourishing tail), Counsel for the Prosecution in white and the Defendant perhaps shrouded in monk’s cow
Organ, all stops out, plays “Dies Irae” Enter to the organ loft Her Honour God, very big hair, swathed in pink, with mic. Organ plays 12 bars of the Alleluia Chorus. Stops abruptly.
Saint Rod: All rise!
The Defendant is called to the stand and reveals himself. Saint Rod reads the charges (see above). They are projected on the screen.
God asks the Defendant how he pleads. The defendant equivocates.
God calls the Blessed Julian Burnside to put the case for the Prosecution.
Prosecution delivers a summary statement of Howard’s sins (approx 10mins, to be written by JB, perhaps illuminated by projections)
Prosecution calls 1st witness the late Phillip Adams, atheist. St Rod produces him.
Further difficulties with swearing-in. Objections from God.
Prosecution leads Adams to establish Howard’s subversion of Faith Hope and Charity in the nation, his negation of Peace and Goodwill throughout the world. (approx 5mins)
Defence cross-examines (brief impro).
Prosecution calls the heavenly Melanie Brooys. St Rod obliges.
Defence questions the bona fides of a known purveyor of fiction. Over-ruled. God citing
the precedent of his own book.
Prosecution leads Brooys on Howard’s debasement of language and social and political institutions (approx 5mins)
Defence cross-examines in a low, insinuating, discreditable manner.
FX: Fortissimo diapason from organ.
God reproves the Defence. She calls for the accused to take the stand.
Howard is perhaps preoccupied with a mobile phone call. He moves to the box.
Howard: Er Mr Speaker er beg pardon humbly humbly, Prime Mover, your petitioner humbly prays er - that was Jeanette, by the by, she says she spoke to you this morning…
Howard delivers an Apologia Pro Sua Vita undermined by projected images (approx 10mins to be written by His Eminence Guy Rundle)
He is examined by Defence Counsel.
He is Cross-examined by the Prosecution
Howard stands down
Defence calls 2 witnesses: HM Queen and Bush. (Compromising testimonies- 3-5mins – also to be written by His Eminence if he so consent).
Cross examination follows, improvised cut and thrust, if the Prosecution is game.
The Heavenly Court becomes disorderly.
Interjections from the Multitude, led on by Righteous Demonstrators and Agents
Provocateurs: Warmongers! Fools! Knaves! Liars! Satan’s Spawn! etc
Struggles with the Bouncers of Paradise and St Rod brandishing the Rubbery Fowl of Justice.
God: Order! Order! Where’s Thor’s hammer when you need it? Play it again Samuel!
Thunderous torrents of organ
God: Now a bit of shoosh creatures or its outer darkness for the lot of you.
She sums up. Proposes to smite Howard and his cohorts.
She clicks her fingers and the first Chorus of Ian Dury & the Blockheads “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick” plays ff. Multitude claps in time The Court boogies.
God adjourns Howard’s doom until election day.
Organ plays “Dies Irae”