Review | Laura Money
Scene: There is a power vacuum at the top. Pressure is in place to replace all the old leaders with ONE leader in charge of all. There are snags to sizzle, aprons to press, and lowest prices to guarantee. That’s right – Busso Bunnings is promoting Jules Caesar to Manager of Managers! So begins Bogan Shakespeare Presents: Julius Caesar – a clever Aussie rendering of Shakespeare’s classic historical play about power struggles, murder, and bizarrely accurate prophetic visions.
Back for the seventh time, Bogan Shakespeare turns their attention to Caesar – making all the salad jokes from the offset – and shows how it’s really just a universal story. Bussleton Bunnings management sees Jules (Dean Lovatt) a bit gormless but a loveable everyman just trying to be good at his job, taking the plunge into work politics, going for the top job. His co-workers Brutus (Harrison Mitchell) a bit wet between the ears, bloodthirsty Casca (Maiken Kruger), and the ever scheming Cassius (Jess Lally) get wind of this and rather than complain to HR or try to go for the job themselves, they go for a few beers and a whinge and escalate their solution from spitting in his Passiona to stabby stabby no more Jules.
Lovatt’s calm and easy-going style endears him to the audience early on, collective groans amassing because we all know his fate. The Bogan Shakespeare crew have a strong crowd work game. From Lovatt’s knowing glances to Kruger’s hilarious fourth wall break as Caesar’s lover (one scene only), and of course the master of improv and crowd engagement Jess Lally. The knowing looks and hilarious asides from the bitter Cassius are so funny and fresh. Who knew that Julius Caesar would work as a hardware store drama? Of course, everything gets a bit Hunger Games when Antony (Sarah Courtis) discovers Jules’ stabbed corpse and the perpetrators enjoying a victory Tim Tam. After spilling the beans on the murderous crew, the co-workers attack with the lowest priced tools at their disposal. There’s a Ryobi trimmer that needs its battery charged, and gardening guru Costa makes a hilarious cameo but justice is ultimately served with the help of some backyard tiki torches.
Bogan Shakespeare have a clear sense of their audience and have created a brand that hits the mark every time. Whilst I wouldn’t consider much of the language to be bogan per se, there are enough bogan elements to get them over the line. The Bunnings setting lends itself to a heap of gags which are pulled off with a knowing wink and a self aware smile. The entire cast have a great chemistry and it’s a joy to watch them make each other laugh even after doing this for seven years. Bogan Shakespeare Presents: Julius Caesar is a riot from start to finish, it takes a classic play and Aussifies it taking tall poppy syndrome to the ultimate level. As plastered on the walls of the set: We came, we saw, we beat it by ten percent! You’re in for a doozy of a time.
You can catch all the high vis and tools at the STCWA until 29th January 2022. TICKETS
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