Taking Liberties

Taking Liberties

“Poignantly mad, seriously funny, joyfully biting political theatre. See a fool, break a rule, take a liberty”.

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Art of Intentional Spontaneity training and creative work by Prof Gunduz Kalic and collaborators are badged under the “Taking Liberties” banner. Presently, Paradise and No Name are in rehearsal.

Theatre Co.

Taking Liberties Theatre Company specialised in bringing theatre to non-theatregoing audiences and in performing political theatre. 

The ensemble thrived by playing in a signature stand up comic style. The company touring its own original creations and the adapted works of Shakespeare and others extensively. 

Following the popular theatrical tradition of Federico Garcia Lorca, Theatre Workshop and Dario Fo Taking Liberties performed across regional, suburban and outback Australia for people who did not normally go to theatre. It often made pubs, licensed clubs and workplaces its venues. 

Political Theatre

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Typifying the political theatre of Taking Liberties is the explosive political-current affairs satire That’s Twice by Michael Earnshaw and Kalic.The play had its world premiere at Australia’s Parliament House in late 1993. It foresaw the rise of populist leaders with showbiz brilliance and flair, much before the world saw figures like Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. Characters from the play subsequently featured on ABC-TV Stateline. 

"A two-fingered riposte from Australia’s forgotten people delivered with enough cartoonish energy to fuel our manufacturing industries for a year, if we had any”
The Australian

“They lambasted the political power-brokers in their own den…A naughty but funny poke at politicians' pretensions”
The Canberra Times

"…This energetic and funny satirical review hardly lets up…the talented Taking Liberties Theatre Company has blended elements of John Clarke’s TV sendups with older traditions of vaudeville, Brecht and Commedia with tier own style of Aussie larrikin humour and come up with this winner"

The Brisbane Courier-Mail

“A wildly funny, provocative and at times savage piece of political theatre”

Time Off 

'AN EXTRAORDINARY commedia-meets-political cabaret piece played in relentless, manic overdrive. The seven-strong cast give their all in a wildly over-the-top lampooning of modern politics.'

The Scotsman


The popular theatre repertoire of Taking Liberties included the Globetrotters Theatre Restaurant; an around-the-world series of themed banquet theatre shows celebrating the multicultural make-up of Australia and featuring comedy and musical performance, including On the Wallaby, an Australiana show.

"A night FULL of Fun, Laughter, Music and Excitement! …

The unique form of entertainment provided by these truly professional and highly talented people will be the topic of conversation for weeks after the show…

You'll have people asking when the next one is going to be held before the end of the night…

Laugh at them, laugh with them and let yourself be thoroughly entertained!"

Nell Hertrick, Ipswich Golf Club

"...spontaneous fun, audience participation of a high standard, lots of impromptu craziness, value for money, professionally performed..I had a ball"

Paul Reeves

"I must congratulate the group on a fantastically funny show. From the time they arrived, until the time they left, the crowd did not stop laughing"

David Giles, Gladstone Port Authority Sports & Recreational Club

"We thoroughly enjoyed them ... French, Indian, The Taming of the Shrew. We thoroughly enjoyed all of them. The service is terrific ... the people are lovely. The audience participation is great."

Mr. & Mrs. Elliott

"Just a note of appreciation for the great show put on by you and your theatre company performers…the whole night was thoroughly enjoyed by one and all. You were all Superb! Comments I received both on the night and since then have been great to say the least. They want to know when you'll be on again…Again my hearty congratulations"

J. I. Bullock, Runaway Bay Junior Leagues Club


The Taking Liberties Theatre Company ensemble included Heather Johansen (Associate Director), Steve Hyde, Mick Earnshaw, Ian McNish, Tim Marchant, Dennis Byrne, Donna Hickey, Betsie Lamers, Nick Dale, Maggie Marchant, Georgina Robertson, Ted Gray, Becci Byrne, Louise Earnshaw, Andrea Bridge, Rachel Hyde and others including especially the late Tina and Steve Burrows.

Meet and Greet

Archival Image: President Murray Torso and Keith, Minister of Everything, meet and greet Prime Minister Paul Keating.