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There was once a man who overthrew John Howard only to be kicked to the curb by a red-haired heroine, well at that time she was. And then he said nine words and won the country over again. “Having said all that folks, we’ve got to zip”. With that, he was immortalised a fallen hero (who spoke Mandarin), a Shakespearean tragedy to be told at the Imperial Hotel where lots of men will dress up as women and women dressing up as men. Introducing the world (well at least Sydney) to Kamlet, here is writer and producer Gab Mcintosh.

Why Kevin Rudd as lead? Kevin Rudd is such a shy creature, someone needed to tell his story. Also there is something quite tragic in his fall from the euphoria voters felt in  2007 to his tearful  final speech on the steps of Parliament House so soon after.

When did inspiration hit for Kamlet? I was sitting in the bath reading Hamlet and doing an assignment for Uni and it seemed to me that Hamlet’s thwarted idealism was reminiscent of Kevin Rudd’s. When I tell people I’ve cast Kevin Rudd as Hamlet they say “Oh yeah, that fits.”

What would Shakespeare have said about Kevin Rudd? Alas, poor Kevin I knew him well.  Where be your gibes now Kev 07. Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that won’t to set the table on a roar? There are more things in Kevin’s ear wax than in your philosophy Queen Julia.

What can the audience expect from Kamlet? Lots of women dressing up as men and men dressing up as women, death, mayhem, laughs and it’s mercifully short being a one-act play.

Can you tell us a little something about the venue, Imperial Hotel? Its stage is exquisitely beautiful, having just been recently renovated. As beautiful in fact as the drag Queens themselves who appear in the Abba and Priscilla shows right after Kamlet. The Imperial has been very supportive of this play and I have been treated royally. A big shout out to Billy.

We hear you had to replace your lead actor halfway through production? What happened? Our old Kamlet was a closet John Howard supporter and he met with a dreadful accident in which he was decapitated. Of course, I’m not bitter about it.

What do you want to say to the old Kamlet? Fair is foul and foul is fair. Hover through the fog and filthy air.

Feb 24 – Mar 12, 8pm, Imperial Hotel, 35 Erskineville Rd, Erskineville, $10, 9519 9899, theimperialhotel.com.au

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