In the lead up to Queensland Theatre Company’s national premiere season of Matthew Ryan’s Kelly, Public Restaurant & Bar is backing the legend, toasting to the infamous Aussie by brewing a ‘Man Drink’ with roots to Irish heritage and a punch that feels like it was dealt from Ned himself.
Australia loves a rat-bag, an under-dog, a rule-breaker, and so on the eve of QTC’s Kelly shining the spotlight once more on our mask-wearing favourite gunslinger, the talented bar team at Public have created the ‘Such is Life’ Man Drink (it’s not a cocktail, it has much more oomph).
It packs a kick, then as you sip, it becomes smooth and rich with layered flavours of whisky, cinnamon, and nutmeg surprising the palate; reflecting Kelly’s story of chip and chase. And of course the name of the Man Drink, well these are allegedly Kelly’s famous last words.
‘Such is Life’ was created using a reduction of dark ale from the Victorian region where the Kelly story unfolded, mixed with Talisker whisky, sweet vermouth, nutmeg, cinnamon and served with maple syrup damper to pay homage to the era and the legend.
“It’s the perfect post-show beverage or just a good dose of Australian history, a taste of Aussie!” said Public’s Bonnie Shearston.
The passing years have served only to build Kelly's legendary stature because he had so many qualities ordinary Australians admire – loyalty to his family, readiness to sacrifice himself for his mates, and as Australia’s most famous bushranger he lived his life persistently bucking the system. However, Matthew Ryan’s Kelly presented by QTC suggests Ned’s brother Dan wasn’t as ready to lay down his life for his comrades and escaped the siege at Glenrowan, leaving Ned to pay the price.
It was over a century ago when Ned and his three gang members made their famous last stand at Glenrowan. On June 26, 1880, the boys held up the town in a two-day gun battle with the Victorian Police; the showdown condemned Ned to the gallows, with Joe Byrne, Steve Hart and Dan Kelly all presumably dead.
But for years, even decades later, it was Dan Kelly who would go on to be sighted more times than Elvis Presley. Newspapers reporting Dan Kelly sightings around South-East Queensland in the 1930s gave credence to the legend of his survival. From an Ipswich ‘swaggy’ and a Worth Circus sideshow act, to a ‘Dalby horse buyer’ and even a Boer War soldier, Dan Kelly – man on the run - had more personalities than Ned ever had stolen horses and run-ins with the constabulary!
Referencing historical events, Kelly is the latest literary achievement from Brisbane-based playwright Matthew Ryan (boy girl wall, Sacre Bleu) and is set for theatrical debut with Queensland Theatre Company for a five-week season from 15 September.
According to QTC Artistic Director Wesley Enoch, Kelly takes us on a quest to explore Australian cult hero Ned Kelly in a totally new light. “Kelly gets our national conscience ticking at a different tempo, we begin to weigh up one brother’s self-proclaimed cowardice against the other’s bravery,” said Enoch.
The ‘Such is Life’ man drink is available at Public now.
What: Kelly, by Matthew Ryan
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Cheers to our Australian Legend: Ned Kelly
Source = Public Restaurant & Bar