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Budgie Smugglers of the Murrumbidgee

Budgie Smugglers of the Murrumbidgee

  20 – 24 September Tuesday to Saturday @ 7:30 pm Saturday Matinee @ 2 pm…

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Budgie Smugglers

20 - 24 September

Tuesday to Saturday @ 7:30 pm

Saturday Matinee @ 2 pm

Adults $ 35 Concession $ 25 Groups 10 + $ 25

Budgie Smugglers of the Murrumbidgee is the ultimate Aussie barbecue comedy, set in the western suburbs of Sydney.

Writer: Wayne Guy
Director and Costume Designer: Jade Alex
Set Deigner: Derrick Cox

Presented by Orange Fence Productions in Association with EMU Productions.

Harry Macarthur has worked hard all of his life. Since his wife died he has lived alone in a big house with a big backyard and a big shed. Today is his 70th birthday, and he’s invited his neglectful offspring around for a barbecue. Harry’s son and daughter are clearly more interested in their future plans for the property than in their father’s birthday… but things are not quite what they appear to be.

This is a rollicking comedy about life, greed, family and second chances.

A note from the author: “Budgie Smugglers of the Murrumbidgee is a confronting, semi-autobiographical dramatic work of significant historical, environmental and multicultural relevance, which I wrote on the back of a placemat at the Maccas on Mamre Road on a wet Tuesday morning. I had a bugger of a cold so I thought, well why not? I haven’t had a single sickie this month. At the risk of sounding immodest, I take a great deal of personal satisfaction in knowing that in the entire history of Australian theatre, there is no other play with this title. I also took great care to choose a relatively short and renewable title so as not to contribute to climate change or the destruction of the native habitat of the Peruvian Monkey Frog. Bringing my script to life in a theatre is going to be an exciting challenge for everyone involved, not least because of the pickle stains.” WG


You love to hate them. They will intrude on your privacy. They know nothing. They know too much. And after the food, the laughs, the unnecessary and trivial arguments and the goodbyes that take 2 bloody hours, you can go home and forget about the next family get-together until Christmas. But time is running out. Life is a short and precious thing, and we can sometimes loose sight of that.

‘Budgie Smugglers of the Murrumbidgee’ is a play about the Modern Family. When we are brainwashed to believe happiness comes from money and ‘making a connection’ comes from staring at your mobile phone.

The show has a diverse cast, who have brought so many of their own life experiences to the narrative. It’s a pleasure to work with such a talented, dedicated and funny group of people.

Jade Alex (director)


Meet the Macarthur family. I don't know what they’re smiling about but I certainly don’t trust it.

‘Budgie Smugglers of the Murrumbidgee’ is a new Australian Comedy written by Wayne Guy. It is filled with utter ridiculousness, infused with the chilling realisation that … this is just life.

‘Budgie Smugglers’ is set in the 2D world of Derrick Cox’s set design. The flat, two-dimensional surfaces reinforce the satirical nature of the play. The characters however, although seemingly fitted to the world, transform as we see family dynamics crumble, relationships break and the collective hope for things to get better. In a nutshell, we learn that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ family, but if we take time to put down the phone, and look people in the eye, we can re-connect again.

Amongst the constant silliness that this play has to offer – and trust me, prepare to be slightly offended and to gasp at it’s political incorrectness – at the heart, it is about love. And I think that's a pretty important thing.


Above: Gary (Tom Matthews) and Emma (Alex Herlihy).

Meet Gary and Emma Macarthur. Cousins. The only thing they have in common is their obsession with technology and love for their grandad, Harry.

Emma, 16 years old – see’s the world through Instagram coloured lenses. Up to date with the latest trends, relevant to her social and political climate, Emma is passionate about having her voice heard! That is… her online voice.

In a world where we can now be so connected to each other; It’s amazing how disconnected we really are.

Gary, 19 years old – just can’t seem to make his voice heard. Actor by day and poet by night, all Gary really wants is support from his family. Feeling isolated and misunderstood, Gary begins his plot for ultimate revenge!


Above: Barry (Steven Menteith), Harry (Tony Girdler) and Carrie (Jacqui Greenfield

Meet Barry, Harry and Carrie. Yes, their names rhyme. One of the many quirks this play has to offer, along with the title of course. Figured out what that means yet? Oh good. Got to leave some mystery.

Barry and Carrie are Harry’s ‘loving’ children. After their mother died, Harry has been on a gradual mental and physical decline. Or so they assume. It’s not as if they visit often. On the week of Harry’s 70th birthday, Barry and Carrie receive a surprising phone call from their father, which has them running to Harry’s 70th birthday barbeque. Well, why wouldn't they? It may be his last.

Barry and Carrie are two peas in a pod. But they can’t agree on anything. Their façade of a happy family dynamic crumbles as sinister plots and ulterior motives unfold.

Carrie has a daughter who doesn’t listen to her; Barry has a son he doesn't understand. I’m sure this is something many of us can relate to. Need some tips of what to do? Come see ‘Budgie Smugglers of the Murrumbidgee’ playing at King St Theatre from 20th – 24th Sept. It might help. Or it could make it worse, I can’t promise anything.BSOTM - 5

Above: Gary (Tom Matthews), Barry (Steven Menteith) and Denise (Gabrielle Bartlett)

When starting a family, there is an important lesson we all must learn: Compromise. Although I am not so certain anyone in this family unit quite knows the meaning.
Barry and Denise have been married for over 20 years, and they are still waiting for their dream to become a reality… you know, to retire early, be financially set for life and move to a beautiful house in Batemans Bay. Free from the stress of life and worries of the world. After years of waiting, things look like they are finally about to change! But perhaps not in the way they expect…
Gary has always been a mystery to his parents. I mean, he spends all his time stuck in is laptop or auditioning for independent Theatre Companies. Sometimes, at night, you can hear him practicing for Slam Poetry Night. But Gary won't be misunderstood for much longer. Gary has written something truly spectacular and soon the whole world will know his name.


Above: Peter (Will Hunter), Emma (Alex Herlihy) and Carrie (Jacqui Greenfield)

The Macarthur’s tips on how to have a healthy, family relationship:
1. Learn how to ‘give and take’. For example: “GIVE ME THAT BLOODY PHONE OR I WILL TAKE AWAY WIFI FOR A WHOLE YEAR!”
2. Listen to one another. Also known as the ‘everyone is too busy with their own crap to talk’ game.
3. Tell the truth. That’s right. Tell the brutally, honest truth. Probably won’t result in fights. Probably.
4. Keep calm, and PANIC.
5. A smile is contagious. So take time to smile. Or as Peter likes to call it: “Grin and bare it”. 
6. Keep mum happy. Because everyone is happy, if mum is happy.
7. And finally, never take advice from a Macarthur.


Above: Matilda (Nisrine Amine)

Meet Matilda, the girl next door.
As in, she is Harry’s next-door neighbour.
But how can anyone stand her? She has no understanding of personal space, no filter and… where did she even come from?

In the midst of family feud, misunderstandings and lunch, Matilda pops her head into everyone lives and once she is there – good luck getting rid of her.

Mysterious, funny, lovable and riddled with phobias, you don’t want to miss seeing Matilda in Budgie Smugglers of the Murrumbidgee!

Book tickets now!

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