Reviewed by Tatum Stafford
A staple of Fringe World, the Bogan Shakespeare Productions team are back for their 7th year with one hell of a performance: their rendition of Julius Caesar.
Set in a Busselton Bunnings Warehouse, the tale centres around ‘Jewlz, a head of department with an opportunity to climb the corporate ladder, and a few of his co-workers who manipulate and conspire with each other to plot his eventual downfall.
The beauty of Bogan Shakespeare is in its accessibility – whether you see or read a Shakespearean play every year, or you’ve seen Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet once, there’ll be something in this clever play that you’ll enjoy. The themes and characters are relatable and recognisable, and there were plenty of local references which the opening night crowd went wild for.
The Bunnings references were especially entertaining. Without giving too much away, a Bunnings TV ad spoof provides a lot of laughs, and there are countless references to familiar Bunnings departments and teams that every Aussie would relate to.
Along with its whip-smart script, one of the most enjoyable aspects of this hilarious show was the cast’s clear comradery and teamwork. Dean Lovatt (Jewlz), Jess Lally (Cassius), Brutus (Harrison Mitchell), Maiken Kruger (Casca) and Sarah Courtis (Antony) should be commended on their effective ensemble work and hilarious, seemingly improvised banter. Not that they need to fill many quiet moments though, there is plenty for each actor to do throughout the well-paced plot.
Studio Underground was a fantastic venue for the show, offering plenty of space and effective tech that greatly helped to progress the story and display the two ‘sides’ of the story. It’s exciting to see the team’s shift into this reputable Perth venue – as the actors themselves admit, the air conditioning alone is a major improvement on some of their previous venues.
The Bogan Shakespeare team will no doubt return to Fringe World for years to come. If you spot their name in a future program – snap up a ticket. You’ll regret it if you don’t!