Bogan Shakespeare at Comedy Festival 2023: Because ‘who actually understands what the feck he was on about?’

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Bogan Shakespeare at Comedy Festival 2023: Because ‘who actually understands what the feck he was on about?’

"The Bard is considered the greatest English playwright, with his plays still hugely popular, being performed around the world, even 400 years after his death. But who actually understands what the feck he was on about? That’s what we’re going to answer and try and fix."

Award-winning regional theatre company HT&E bring their award-winning show Bogan Shakespeare to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival this year, translating Willy for delighted Australian audiences, in a show that’s been a hit tour for many years now.

A massive success at Melbourne Fringe Festival, the show is borne out of love and a healthy dose of humour for Shakespeare’s work. If you’re a fan, expect a deep and wide-ranging comedic take on his oeuvre that will have you in stitches, and if you’ve never liked or understood him, this is exactly the show you’ve been waiting for.

Bogan Shakespeare at Melbourne International Comedy Festival

  • Dates: April 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Times: 8:30pm (65mins)
  • Venue: The Motley Bauhaus 118 Elgin Street Carlton
  • Tickets: $28 Full / $20 All Concession

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“It’s going to be fantastic hitting the city in one of the biggest comedy festivals in the world, and presenting some home-grown comedy inspired by William Shakespeare,” writer and director Phillip A Mayer said.

“Modern audiences often find Willy confusing, frustrating, boring, irrelevant, incomprehensible and downright stupid. Bogan Shakespeare changes all that, and brings some of his classic works to life in relatable language, that any Aussie can comprehend. We basically take Willy and give him a bogan makeover.

“Reviewers said this is the treatment and interpretation that every Aussie has been waiting for, and at the same time, some might be outraged by. With some rewrites and updates, I think it’s even more accurate. We’ve been waiting a few years to get to MICF with this show, and it’s getting a lot of attention.”

With an ensemble cast that includes Andrew Hood, Krissi Creighton, John Reisinger, Emily Slade, Luke Witham and Mayer himself, Bogan Shakespeare has created a biting array of Australian characters to deconstruct thespian language in the funniest way possible.

“We present bogan jokes, social commentary, non-stop fun-poking at Shakespeare and the fact that he was too clever for most of us to understand,” Mayer continues. “We look at classics like Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, but we also extract insults and humour from many of his other plays. It’s all about making it fun and accessible to everyone, regardless of their exposure to Willy.”

“It’s an inappropriate, bawdy adult comedy, which is what Shakespeare did, and it’s what we do too. We break down the language, explain it, have a few laughs at what it really means and generally make it less scary because people use Shakespeare quotes more than they know. This is about bringing The Bard to the backyard, and if we’re having fun, hopefully audiences will too.”

Bogan Shakespeare is showing at The Motley Bauhaus for a special short season, April 6-9. Tickets here.