Last night was the University of Sydney Union’s Fourth Annual Public Execution, held at Manning Bar. The event was MC’ed by veteran USU comedian James Colley who entertained a full house – a rare occurrence for a bar that has seen a gradual decline in attendance since 2011.
The performer, Cameron Knowles, a former Union Board director who was suspended for sneezing in front of the Vice Chancellor’s office, was taken on stage to be tied to the wooden post in the centre. It was a lengthy process as the USU, following a members’ forum, stopped the use of sedatives before the show, and voted unanimously to employ sheer force in quelling the inevitable struggle.
While we were waiting, I decided to try the new James Squire that came with entry as a cross-branded marketing strategy from the USU. While tasty, the Sword Swallower left you with an aftertaste that the previous year’s Robin Hood did not. It was an excellent beer that went well with the on-stage arrowing.
An hour later, the lights dimmed and the stagehands began to put duct tape around Knowles’s face.
Colley hyped up the crowd. “Are you ready to make some noise?!”
Knowles started to scream “I’m fucking innoce-” but a stagehand rolled the tape over his mouth before he could finish. “I can’t hear you!” Colley said in the direction of Knowles, causing the audience to break into laughter. The smokers had started to move inside, and I had to put down the new-and-improved Manning Burger, $67, which I was enjoying. The USU had revamped and renovated its dinner menu after students complained the old menu reminded them of Wednesday Night bingo.
Once the cheering had died down, the Honorary Secretary of the USU, George Manson, bowed to the audience and swung his sword at Knowles, hacking into his shoulder twice before swiping cleanly through his neck. Blood began to pour down Knowles’ body and his head rolled off the stage and into the hands of a young woman in the front, who is now eligible to claim a free drink and sausage at any Union outlet. Colley yelled, “don’t you just hate that one fucking friend who will always dive for the head!” to mass applause.
The USU has once again proved it is a top entertainment provider and an integral part of student life. Five stars.