Darebin Arts | An absurd collision of Ancient Rome and Campbell Newman’s Queensland

When I read of a show about Queensland Premier Campbell Newman turning criminals into gladiators for entertainment, I had to check it out. Maybe in ‘MKA: Bounty‘, I would learn something new about Queensland politics?

‘Bounty’ follows an alternate reality version of the Newman household. There’s Campbell, along with wife Lisa and their two daughters, Rebecca and Sarah. They start out just like a (mostly) functional typical family, with maybe a little too much liking for 80’s Aussie music. As Campbell transforms into an Emperor, avoiding pineapples in the fruit dish and eating grapes instead, we are taken on a crazy, funny, fantastic journey to the evil depths of a society where criminals become gladiators, a combination of ancient Rome and The Running Man. However, the show not about the event itself, but the family. The Newman clan will never be the same again!

This is one of those shows that goes to extremes and entertains through excess, but is also inviting the audience to think about how close some of our politicians are to living that dream. I particularly enjoyed Conor Gallacher’s portrayal of the increasingly manic Emperor Newman. The rest of the cast did a fine job too, keeping the audience involved, despite the lunacy, and the music matched the mood well. It’s one of those shows where I look back wondering how they kept straight faces at times.

Your first big choice when you walk in is where to sit, with three rows on one side of the set and 6 rows on the other. No, it doesn’t matter. You’ll see everything from either side and there shouldn’t be any bad seats for sound or lighting either.

Craig Macbride is a Melburnian who thinks our politicians might as well be parodied, because they’re not much use for anything else.

MKA: Bounty‘ runs 16-26 September at
Northcote Town Hall, West Wing Studio 1.
The venue is accessible.