Melbourne Fringe - Barry Morgan's World of Organs
Words - Rebecca Mery
Photo - Courtesy of Melbourne Fringe
Where: Lithuanian Club 44 Errol Street, North Melbourne 3051
When: 18 - 25 September 2015 (except Monday 21 Sept)
Who: Barry Morgan
If you've ever wondered about this kind of thing, a home organ party is a bit like a Tupperware party – but with less airtight plastic containers and far more organ. I learned this and many other things at Barry Morgan's World of Organs: Home Organ Party Experience. I also left with a recipe card for chicken liver paté and a sore face from grinning so damn much.
This year's Fringe sees legendary Sunnybrook Mall organ salesman (and brainchild of comedian Stephen Teakle) Barry Morgan host a home organ party at the Lithuanian Club Ballroom. Which by the way, is a near-perfect setting soaked in kitsch 70s vibes. Guests to the party are greeted at the door by Morgan himself, hair still in rollers and directing arrivals to a table by the entrance featuring lollies, party hats, a record player with 45s to choose from, and books about South Australia. It's the kind of atmosphere that results in infectious giggling and grinning before the show/party even kicks off.
With his thousand-watt smile, Morgan leads the audience through a home organ party, while also giving out the know-how one would need to host their own organ party. For instance, conversation starters are a must. That's obviously how we ended up turning to the person next to us and thrusting at them. And then taking a selfie with a stranger – thereby ensuring we'd 'go home with someone we don't know'.
Of course, that's without taking into account the all-important organ-playing of the organ party. During the Home Organ Party Experience (for those of you playing at home, that's HOPE) Barry Morgan extols the virtues of a couple of different organs, including one especially 'portable' number. Morgan's musical stylings rollick the party along, through the 1960s, 70s, 80s, 90s and ending in the modern day – complete with Morgan's mini-me offsider Callum adding laptop beats to the organ.
A charismatic host, a spot of the 'Macarena', Campari and Bex, and party faves on the organ – Barry Morgan's might be one of the better parties I've been to in a while. Not sure what that says about my mates' shindigs; probably that they need more organ.