Jolly good laughs from fes­tive ten­sions

The fam­ily Christ­mas serves up a feast of univer­sal com­edy gold, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY/ WEDNESDAY EXTRA -

GUY Ed­monds joins new ABC com­edy A Moody Christ­mas which fol­lows the mis­ad­ven­tures of an ex­tended fam­ily as they gather each year over Christ­mas lunch.

‘‘I don’t have a lot of Christ­mas sto­ries,’’ says Ed­monds, who was born on the Gold Coast and reared by no­madic par­ents – dad worked in air ser­vices, mum as a mid­wife, in towns which in­cluded Townsville, Bris­bane and Dubai.

‘‘We never re­ally had the great big gath­er­ings some of my friends had be­cause my folks were al­ways mov­ing round. I think back over the past 10 years and I may have spent half of those Christ­mases with fam­ily. It’s never been a big deal. When we do get to­gether, we tend to have smaller gath­er­ings.’’

Ed­monds, in fact, can think of just one Christ­mas cel­e­bra­tion that might qual­ify as a plot-line for A Moody Christ­mas.

‘‘I was maybe 10 so I don’t re­mem­ber too clearly, but it may be the rea­son we don’t do big Christ­mases,’’ he laughs.

‘‘Dad back then was in the army and he’d got all these great big army tents and set them up in the back­yard ahead of this big out­door party for ev­ery­one, col­leagues, their fam­i­lies, any­one who didn’t have any­where else to go.

‘‘We had 40-50 peo­ple there. Then dur­ing lunch one tent col­lapsed. No one was hurt but I re­mem­ber the mess of peo­ple and food all un­der can­vas, cake smeared ev­ery­where.’’

A Moody Christ­mas plays out over six in­stal­ments, launch­ing a week ago when it in­tro­duced a love tri­an­gle of sorts in­volv­ing Ian Mead­ows as Dan Moody, Ed­monds as his cousin Hay­den and the later’s girl­friend Cora (Jane Harber).

Dan and Cora be­came bet­ter friends than they might have had Hay­den not left Cora at the lunch where she knew no one while he joined his boss’s last-minute in­vi­ta­tion to go sail­ing.

‘‘There are two very def­i­nite camps now,’’ says Ed­monds of view­ers’ take on the char­ac­ter. ‘‘One one side there are those who think Hay­den’s a jerk – and to a cer­tain ex­tent they’re right.

‘‘There’s also those like my­self who reckon he’s the way he is be­cause of the world he lives in, which is a cor­po­rate money-driven world in which a man is mea­sured on the num­ber of ze­ros on his pay cheque.

‘‘As the se­ries pro­gresses, you’ll learn more about that.’’

Ed­monds says the char­ac­ter-driven plot­lines at­tracted him to the se­ries.

‘‘I love com­edy, but we don’t do a lot of it in Aus­tralia,’’ he says.

‘‘I think there’s a bit of a stigma at­tached to Aus­tralian com­edy. Peo­ple think we don’t do it well, or only do it in a broad car­i­ca­turey kind of way, which isn’t ex­actly true, but with this one you could tell from the get go these guys were try­ing to make some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, some­thing with an in­ter­na­tional flavour.’’

Wed­nes­days, 8.30pm, ABC1.

Ian Mead­ows, Jane Harber and Guy Ed­monds.

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