The Cocky of Bungaree a true blue delight


WHAT better way to spend the summer holiday than stepping back in time?

Wonthaggi Theatrical Group masterfully transports their audience back to the shearer’s strike of 1893 in its rendition of Richard Tulloch’s The Cocky of Bungaree.

The show opened at 11am at Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s Rooms at the Wonthaggi State Coal Mine last Thursday, January 4.

The small cast – featuring 12 alternating children aged between nine and 12, nine teenagers and five adults – is bursting with talent, creating an interesting and humorous storyline that’s easy for the whole family to sit back and enjoy.

The story follows the trials and tribulations of Cocky Bourke (Carmelo Pereras), who must meet a deadline of 100 sheep shorn by 4pm to avoid losing his farm.

In true Aussie fashion, Flash Jacqueline from Gundagai (Megan Kenny), also known as the fastest shearing sheila this side of the Rabbit Proof Fence, endeavours to help Cocky Bourke meet his quota with her mate Fingers O’Halloran (Jack Botterill).

However, the scheming Sir Sidney Harbour (Dustan Britt) has his eyes on the property, and employs the mischievous master of foreign disguises and Scottish criminal Andrew McGregor (Ben Gibbins) to derail the plan.

In the end, mateship rings true and with a little hard yakka – and the help of a very clever sheep – things begin to look up for Cocky Bourke.

Leads Megan Kenny and Jack Botterill automatically hook the audience with their confident stage presence and talented voices; Megan’s Flash Jacqueline catch phrase “and a fair shake of the sauce bottle” is one that will surely be reused time and again in local homes.

Ben Gibbins wowed the audience with his swift characterisation, humorously taking on different guises as the show progressed.

Dustan Britt is a star on the rise. One of the younger leads of the show, Dustan portrayed the villainous Sir Sidney Harbour.

Despite a generally unlikeable character, Dustan bought fun and laughter to the role, allowing the audience to enjoy all aspects of the show.

A particular crowd favourite was Max Duff in the role of Gerald, the very clever sheep. Another young actor, Max had the audience laughing with his onstage movements and funny delivery of lines.

The cast was joined on stage by a five piece band, directed by Jacqui Paulson.

The show was directed by Sue Lindsay and co-initiated by Vicki Bristow. Ms Lindsay said the show took just two months to put together.

“Comedy is always a winner and I thought this show would be very funny to do,” she said.

“It’s been wonderful working with the cast, and it was amazing how quick some of the children got the hang of it. It has been a lot of fun. We’ve had birthday cakes and there has been a lot of laughter.”

Ms Lindsay said this was a new experience for most of the children, and it was an enjoyable experience for all involved.

She thanked the committee and the members of Wonthaggi Theatrical Group for supporting the production.

It’s not too late to see the show, so brush up on your Aussie lingo and book your tickets.
The remaining shows will be at 11am and 2pm on Thursday, January 11, and Friday, January 12.


Hardworking heroes: from left, Anna Kesterton, Becky Heffer, Julia Lindsay, Kyla McKenzie, Tabatha Heffer and Annabelle Townsend were wonderful to watch in Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s The Cocky of Bungaree.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23702

Posted by on Jan 9 2018. Filed under Arts & Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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