Lenny BruceLenny Bruce’s first Sydney performance in September 1962 didn’t go down well. Arrested after he got up on stage and declared ‘What a fucking wonderful audience,’ his future gigs at the hotel he was performing were canceled and shows organised for UNSW by soon-to-be editor of Oz Magazine, Richard Neville, were blocked by the Vice-Chancellor.

Now more than 40 years after his death, Lenny Bruce makes a return to Sydney as part of their international festival of contemporary art.

Dora Garc?a’s Just because everything is different, it does not mean that anything has changed is a 45 minute routine based around Bruce recordings with one main goal: let Lenny Bruce finally speak in Sydney.

Dora tells SMH:

He really fought for a citizen’s right to be able to say what they wanted and I think he became a sort of manic specialist on the American constitution. For him the only limit to freedom of expression was obscenity, and that’s what he discussed extensively in his performances, what ‘obscene’ means.

Neville, who was also inspired by Bruce and as editor of Oz in the 60s and 70s had his own share of obscenity charges, will host the event.

Can a dead Lenny Bruce offend Sydney? There’s always one or two looking for a fight.

Details are as follows:

WHEN: Thursday, 19 June 2008, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

WHERE: Sydney Opera House

BOOK: $20 SydneyOperaHouse.com