Melbourne comedian Rik Brown performs as Rocky this week. Photo: Mark Gambino.

Shakespeare, meet Rocky Balboa

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When Rik Brown first watched the seminal 1980s classic movie Rocky 3, he was hyper aware of the Shakespearean tragedy already dripping out of the screen.

But he knew he had to take it one step further. So the veteran Melbourne actor and improviser, whose work taken him across the world and Australian screens, decided to imagine Rocky Balboa as if he actually channelled Shakespeare.

Rocky the Third is a Shakespearean reimagining of Rocky 3 where two actors attempt to bring to life all the characters and transform one of cinemas most inarticulate figures into one of Shakespeare’s most verbose heroes in this heavyweight epic.

“Whether you love him, hate him, or have no feelings at all for the Italian Stallion, this show will take you on a Shakespearean rollercoaster that will delight and amaze you,” says Rik.

All the poetic language of the Bard is infused with all the brutal poetry of boxing.

“It’s a must see for all fans of comedy and/or Shakespeare, and/or Rocky, and/or watching two performers play multiple roles in multiple wigs.”

This show is the brain child of Rik, long time workhorse of the Melbourne Improv scene and performer of many a festival show, and features Bridget Metherall in a powerhouse performance of comedic brilliance.

Bridget Metherall has been performing steadily since 1996 and has graced numerous festivals in Australia and New Zealand. Rik, who has been called a “true craftsman”, has been an actor and improvisor for the past 20 odd years. He was last in Nelson two years ago when he won the best improv show at the Nelson Fringe Festival.

Rocky the Third at Ghost Light Theatre on May 3-5 at 7pm. Tickets from $13 via ghostlight.nz