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In Conversation with Richie Hallal | FRINGE HUB 2022

Beeeewwwwwmmm! We caught up with acclaimed clown and theatre maker Richie Hallal before he brings his latest creation to TW Explosives Factory this Melbourne Fringe.

Baptised ‘Mykonos’ by world renowned Clown ‘Doctor Brown’, Richie Hallal presents a knowing wisdom while creating an absolutely chaos-driven show.

“In essence, this show is about us. About our complicit nature.” When asked why his show involves a stack of dynamite he responded, “I read an article in 2019 or 2020 about a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia, there were 3 suicide bombers – 2 of the bombers caused 100’s of deaths, and 1 bomber didn’t kill anyone. I found that interesting; these are elaborately planned attacks, months, sometimes years in advance, and I am convinced that, in that moment, that person made a choice to save lives. From that moment on, the ever juicy “what if” premise came through, and my enquiry grew more and more insane as the world drove itself mad with fear, an inescapable fear.”

“I have been making theatre for nearly 20 years, I have learned clearly what works and what doesn’t work. What really interested me in making this show, is pushing myself beyond gag structures, beyond classic comedy (WHICH I LOVE) and into the area of complete mystery. Here’s an idea, here’s an offer, lets discover together how this will unfold.”

The moment he stepped into The Explosives Factory, Richie knew Mykonos Explodes! needed to be there. Mykonos Explodes! At the Explosives Factory, a Lebanese Australian of a lineage peppered with explosions and explosives, navigating life situations that are explosive in nature, creating this show as a diffuser to a long line of blood and revenge. To be world premiering the show in a theatre that formerly made explosives is providence.

“Gun powder is amazing” he said abruptly. “a volatile combination of substances that all come from the earth to explode, either in beauty (i.e fireworks) or destruction. It’s a choice, and I’m curious about the choices WE will make collectively with each audience.”

To honour his third space of migrantry, Richie, who speaks little Arabic, decided not to speak English for this show, rather, to speak An Other Language. He explained being human is communication enough, a joyful exploration of what it truly means to be understood, especially in the most bizarre circumstances.

“Life, by design, is hard, life can be incredibly painful. At the very least, let’s be together and laugh together at the horrible agony that life is, and in that way, ALL of it, however horrific, can be a gift.”


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