The Green Guys Company is back this Fringe with another humorous and heartfelt play that exceeds all expectations. The Bunyip Aristocrats is an original satiric take on the classic dynastic tale of a King determining his heir.
The play begins when Henry Hobbes, the self-proclaimed King of the ‘Kingdom of Hobbes’, starts to question who will succeed his sixteen year long reign. Calling his estranged children home, twins Hetty and Hal find themselves drawn back into their unconventional childhood as they’re faced with their everchanging home and unchanging Father.
This family puts the diss in dysfunctional as they banter, argue and fight amongst themselves, for a crown the twins do not want nor believe in. However, with an inheritance they are willing to do anything to gain, they compete against each other in a series of events that can only be labelled as bogan palace intrigue. The two manipulate the King’s assistant Kenny, who buys into the dream of the Kingdom, to get one up on the other. Meanwhile King Henry contradicts himself in his plans to give away a throne he desperately wants to keep.
The stage was utilised well, with simple sets and sound design creating a myriad of locations within the Kingdom. The cast was also well chosen and performed amazingly together.
The play and King Henry himself is inspired by a real-life Australian farmer, Leonard Casely, who seceded from the Commonwealth of Australia in 1970, by proclaiming himself as Prince Leonard of Hutt River Province. Moreover, the title of the show references the term ‘bunyip aristocracy’, which was pejorative slang coined in colonial times to describe politician William Wentworth’s attempts to establish a system of titles in Australia.
In this, the play questions ownership of land, and the legitimacy of our own nation in a world where anyone has the power to make one up for themselves.
With clear cut characters, funny and emotional dialogue, The Bunyip Aristocrats is a guarantee hit this Fringe.