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Kangaroo Palace (Channel 7 Drama, Jacqueline McKenzie)

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Kangaroo Palace John Polson Jeremy Sims Jonathan Firth

Kangaroon Palace follows the fortunes of four young Australian’s as they experience everything Britain has to offer – good and bad in the 1960’s.

The opening half hour introduces us to the four, outback girls Heather Randall (Rebecca Gibney) and Catherine (Jacqueline McKenzie), typical Aussie Jack Gill (Jeremy Sims) and journalist Richard Turner (John Polson) who is convinced a job in Fleet Street awaits.

Once in London the quartet find themselves living in a squat (the Kangaroo Palace ) and being taken under the wing of upper-class ragamuffin Terence Foster-Burrowes (Jonathon Firth).

The four quickly find that the “Mother country” isn’t quite what they thought it would be, from racism by many of the English people they meet to Catherine realising that the dreams she has carried with her of her English father are just that.

Kangaroo Palace does well to conjure up the atmosphere of a London going slightly to seed in the late sixties, admittedly the cast look too old to be playing late teens – early twenty somethings but you quickly forget that as the story hooks you in.

Classic Quote: ‘Ooh, I love a man who sweats.’

Cast: JACQUELINE McKENZIE as Catherine Macaleese; JOHN POLSON as Richard Turner; REBECCA GIBNEY as Heather Randall; JEREMY SIMS as Jack Gill; JONATHAN FIRTH as Terence Foster-Burrowes; JEROME EHLERS as Simon Seymour; JOSEPHINE BYRNES as Ann; ALISON WHYTE as Barbara; JANE ALLSOP as Cecily; KATIE CARR as Linda; BRIDIE CARTER as Diane; KIM GYNGELL as Spider; MATTHEW QUARTERMAINE as Macka; GEOFF PAINE as Keith; TIM ROBERTSON as Charles Reed

Writers: Deborah Cox, Andrew Knight / Camera: Kim Batterham / Theme Music: Tim Finn / Performed by Davy Spillane / Script Editor: John Alsop / Costume: Jeanie Cameron / Producer: Ewan Burnett / Executive Producers: Rebecca Gibney, Andrew Knight, Steve Vizard / Director: Robert Marchand

UK – Australia / Channel 4 – 7 Network – Artist Services Pty Ltd – Primetime – Film Victoria – T.E.A.M / 2×120 minute episodes / Broadcast 1997