Bogans tells the story of Errol Wingnut and his family, wife Cheryl, daughter Sharlene and son G.T. This fast paced show about the family from Bogan-Brompton leaves no socio economic group, race or religion alone. The family are carefully introduced to the audience, who quickly warmed to each character and the premise of what it is like to be a Bogan.
Part of the show could be compared loosely with that great Aussie movie "The Castle", depicting Satan like property developers trying to bulldoze Errol's home to make way for a Yuppie type suburb.
This is not the strength of the show, it lies in the writing. Matt Byrne (although not credited in the bio) wrote the show from start to finish based upon a lifetime of observations. I can tell you he is accurate.
There are many characters played by the four-person cast. From the two Asian massage parlour girls, checkout chicks, drug affected girlfriend, the lone biker, bashers, dog, developers and even advertisers; each scene reminds the audience of real people in the street.
Matt Byrne – In this role as Errol Wingnut, Matt is at his best. Whilst the script is well written, Byrne and his cast embellish it with ad-lib based on the reaction from an attentive audience. Errol could easily be a resident of the western suburbs with his Port Power t-shirt and love for beer, 8 ball and ugg boots. Matt shines as the rusty old bloke that everyone loves at the pub, stories and all.
Kim York – Cheryl Wingnut – Kim stars as the long-suffering wife and mum in this Bogan family. Her delivery of the script affords the audience a look into the stay at home mum that just cares about her family and don't you try to knock them. Cheryl's speech about her dating days with Errol was a little flat but she shined when given the chance to interact and improvise with the audience.
Brendan Cooney – GT Wingnut – Brendan has embraced the role of GT and all other characters he plays in the show. From the Biker, Home Gym Salesman to Rasta man, the chip shop owner, developer and the dog - Road Rage he manages to make each change realistic. Inviting the audience to laugh even when he drops a line of script, he just gets it right. His delivery is authentic and funny more often than not just when he engages with the audience in ad lib banter.
Belinda Knott – Sharlene Wingnut – Belinda sticks to her part like sh**t to a blanket. She is funny from start to finish and is often the catalyst of some sharp and snappy adlib with the audience. Belinda makes the audience believe that she is the slapper from Dipstick Street. At one stage Belinda plays both Sharlene and Crystal Beth at the same time fighting around GT. It is here that she shines by constantly changing character within just a few seconds. Sharlene is often the one that starts the adlib rants encouraging the cast. These improvised sections deliver some of the biggest laughs in the show
Overall – Although this show is funny, there are some thought provoking moments in recognising the plight of some members of our communities.
A poignant delivery by GT around sexual abuse, the confrontation on a train by Sharlene with a snobby couple and the underlying love and strength of the family unit wherever they live or what they have. These issues are real and portrayed without any attempt to reduce their impact. As they say don't judge a book by its cover and help those that you can to be safe.
Music and choreography binds the two-hour show together with even a chance to sing along.
If you saw it twice, I am sure it would be different each time and you wouldn't be disappointed. A locally written, produced and directed show and my pick of comedy at the Fringe so far.
Matt Byrne is an incredible writer. If he lived in New York I believe he would be an award winning Broadway writer and producer. We are lucky that he does live in Adelaide and get the chance to see such incredible productions.
I gave blood today Betty and one of the nurses told me that this show is one of the funniest she has seen at the Fringe. We all do have a bit of Bogun in us, she also told me the cast had to stop the show so she could catch her breath from laughing so much, I'm going to see this. Also fantastic write up, as always. John Evans. How Dare....