INTERVIEW: THE BOY, GEORGE IS ROYALLY HITTING ADELAIDE FRINGE

It’s 2028 and Prince George is not happy.

The Queen is dead. The Monarchy is over – and Prince George is like, so not about it.

He’s 14, insta-famous and would literally rather die than leave the Palace. A storm is brewing. Political unrest. A boy left alone for the very first time, plots must be laid and this pampered-up pup isn’t planning on going quietly.

Patrick Livesey has written and directed his first show and, after a royally successful first season in Melbourne, he’s bringing it to Adelaide Fringe.

The Boy, George tells the story of what might happen if the queen dies and the people of England vote to end the monarchy, and a 14 year old Prince George decides to take it upon himself to fight back and save his future as king of England and the Commonwealth.

Patrick says he came up with the concept after being inspired around the time of the most recent royal wedding extravaganza.

“It came about because I was wanting to write a show as a way of kind of launching into my life post uni training. It was going to be autobiographical, but after a while that got a bit boring. It was around the time of the royal wedding, and I was thinking, what if instead of writing about me being hopeless, I wrote about Prince George, who is very entitled, very privileged, and has this uprooting situation occur to him, and through that, he shows his true colours,” he says.

After premiering the show at Melbourne Fringe, Patrick was rewarded with rave reviews and sold out crowds, which inspired him to get the show on the road.

“I was absolutely surprised. I was completely in shock that it sold so well, because when you’re putting on a show for Melbourne Fringe, ticket sales are not something you envision for yourself. And I was in quite a small theatre. So, the fact that people actually wanted to come see it was amazing,” he says. “I put that down to the concept, because when there’s so many shows being put on, people just look for the one that grabs their interest. I think the timing of a show about the royal family but also about a young, camp Prince George definitely grabbed people’s attention.

“And the response was fantastic. A lot of people came who love the royal family, and are obsessive fans. They get a lot out of it, because there’s a lot of detail in there; there’s a lot of history. But then people that have no idea about the royal family came and also found something in there for them. I was very proud that there was a lot of appeal across audiences.”

Playing at Holden Street Theatres during March, this homecoming will be something special for the young actor who is Pulteney Grammar School old scholar who graduated from Victorian College of the Arts.

“I’m so excited to bring this show home. It’s been a dream of mine since doing my first Fringe show with my drama teacher Jamie Hibbert. After that, I wanted to come back and do a solo show. To be doing it so soon after drama school with a show that I’m really proud of is very exciting,” Patrick says.

“I love how Holden Street Theatres support independent work, and such a variety and cross-section of work as well. Growing up, you could always trust going to Holden Street and just pointing at a poster and you’d see something that you hadn’t seen before, something that was going to challenge you, something that was going to, inspire you. I saw a lot of stuff in high school there that definitely had an impact.”

The Boy, George is set to appeal to both monarchists and republicans alike, because whatever you stand for, we can all enjoy a laugh.

“Royal lovers will find something to enjoy with Prince George and there are a lot of mentions of Diana. People that aren’t so much fans of the family, that kind of have their reservations, are going to come and hopefully find an insightful critique of the way that they function in an Australian context. Also just people of the millennial generation that love dry, sarcastic humour, and who love a bit of silliness, a bit of over-the-top campiness? They’re going to love it,” Patrick says.

If this sounds like you (which, of course it does!), then grab your tickets to The Boy George now.

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