Emerging from the recent Sydney Lockdown Belvoir Street Theatre has hit the ground running, with an unbelievably high energy new pantomime The Boomkak Panto written by award-winning actor Virginia Gay.
In a small Aussie town named Boomkak, locals are confronting a new villain – The Big Developer, as he hopes to begin work on their beloved town. To fight for themselves and their town, Boomkak locals decide to do what any group of concerned citizens would – put on a panto!
Urban Village spoke with Rob Johnson, who plays Butch, a loud and confidence local, who is set in his ways, as well as playing The Big Developer, the main villain of the play who threatens to put the community under threat.
For the cast and crew behind The Boomkak Panto, the transition back into regular life, and getting ready for the performance was noticeable. Johnson says: “I felt embarrassingly tired. Everybody really noticed it which was funny. We’re all hitting our stride now, feeling fitter and able to do it. Our bodies weren’t very ready for the switch, but our spirits were very willing.”
“It feels great to be able to do a show and be able to be in a rehearsal space with other people, and it’s the kind of show that requires so much energy, it’s been like a switch has been flicked.”
For Rob, The Boomkak Panto is a show that celebrates and articulates the lives of many identities and minority groups. “At its core it is a show about identity and minority communities and people who feel that they are not allowed to truly be who they are, because they feel that they need to put a mask on.”
“This is a show about these people becoming empowered and realising that just because a white man is saying something very loud – like the characters I play – does not mean that he’s actually right” says Johnson.
The performance also includes new songs from Tony Award nominee Eddie Perfect, as well as Aussie classics.
The Boomkak Panto will run at Belvoir Street Theatre from November 20th to December 23rd. Tickets can be purchased here.