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Review: Bogan Shakespeare - Much Ado About Nothing at Museum St Den at Perth Mess Hall

Review By Sophia Gilet

Bogan Shakespeare is famous for creating bogan versions of much loved Shakespeare plays. Making Shakespeare accessible, relevant and, in this case, funny as f***.

Much ado about nothing has fantastic characterisation by these actors. With a few of the characters hitting far too close to home for comfort, however it was nice to be able to laugh at them.

The show had a very simple set- curtains and a bench which is used approximately twice throughout the show.

These performer and the writers have a knack for making Shakespeare understandable and funny. The show is in an unusual venue- the mess hall,just opposite the new museum.

A surprisingly intelligent take on Much Ado About Nothing that actually looked at the actions and effects of these characters including the long term consequences.

The actor playing Claudio played him as a charming shy man, who makes some questionable choices when hurt.

Beatrice is an honest feminist who is cautious in love but goes on with her head firmly on her shoulders. Her friend Hero being far more interested in falling in love.

One of the best parts of this play is the way they portray the dynamics.

With Don Pedro as the out of place older dude hanging out with 17 years olds.  And Don John employing a punk kid to carry out his nefarious plans.

The Narrator did an excellent job mediating between the audience and keeping the story flowing with just enough exposition to keep us up to date.

The show ended up running a little over on the night I watched, which is still impressive for any one to adapt a Shakespeare so that it is an hour long. Broachio (boganfied Borachio) was the stand out character that stole every scene he (played hilariously by the same actress as hero) was in. The rhymes, the slang, the crazy sick scooter tricks and the physicality was so spot on. I would gladly watch any number of scenes with  him in it.

This production of Bogan Shakespeare is definitely worth seeing.

A word of warning- being bogan it does get filthy and may not be for people who get offended by words such as cumstains being thrown around affectionately. There is some audience interaction and asides, but this is minimal.

The narrator summed up the show at the end and pointed out just how messed up Shakespeare comedies are. Bogan Shakespeare have created the situation wherein it happened truthfully. While they have set it on Rottnest at leavers,  the stakes are still high.

With any showing of Much ado about Nothing a lot of it hangs on the chemistry and tension of Beatrice and Benedic, from passionately fighting to passionately in love, and these two capture the absurdity of the situation and maintain a tension all the way through. They had to hit a lot key points as they had condensed the show considerably.

I enjoyed myself and saw people I know and love onstage. This show celebrates bogan culture and Perth culture and pokes fun at Shakespeare. It doesn't take him too seriously and they have managed to make a funny concise show that comments on Shakespeare's play but also our current culture, with slut shaming, emotional manipulation, the gender bias and karaoke. It even has a few nods to Romeo and Juliet to the keen Shakespeare fan.

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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