What happens when you take one of Australia’s most controversial figures and combine them with the sensitive subject material that is religion? This is the question Heath Franklin hopes to answer when he resurrects his portrayal of Chopper for his Bogan Jesus – The Resurrection show.
Franklin’s impersonation of notorious underworld figure Mark ‘Chopper’ Reid first began to percolate after the release of the film Chopper, and has endured the test of time. Which Franklin agreed was a surprise when asked.
“It has been, especially because it started as a dumb joke I was doing at university. So for it to be a thing that I’m still doing 10 or 15 years later is pretty incredible.”
When asked what the inspiration was behind this show Franklin said, “I wanted to take a really insensitive character and attack a really sensitive topic.” Whilst the show does encroach on potentially offensive ground Franklin explained further by saying, “I wanted to give myself the challenge of talking about things in a new and interesting way that wasn’t going to outright offend everyone, only the people with the most sensitive of sensibilities should be offended.”
To ensure that the show wasn’t simple “blasphemy” or “heresy” Franklin took a number of months developing the show via trial performances and numerous rewrites.
“I’m not trying to have the last word on religion, it’s just an hour long show full of as many funny jokes as I could put into it. I’m not trying to change the world or teach anyone a lesson, I just want people to come in and laugh so hard that their stomach hurts when they leave.”
Nov 2. The Juniors, 558A Anzac Parade, Kingsford. $38+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.thejuniors.com.au