Ben Cousins: A Rock Opera



BEN COUSINS a rock opera





'Gettin Caught by the ACCC'

'Embrace Fear of Failure'

'Don't you want me?'

'My name is Bucks'

Butler v McGuire

6PR Interview

Alternative RTR FM Ad


Don't you want me?

Ben's single on Video Bits

My name is Bucks!


Arts Hub - 22 Mar, 2010

Groggy Squirrel - 22 Mar 2010

RHUM review - 24 Mar, 2010

X & Y Magazine, 24 March 2010














Review - West Australian - 25 May 2010

'Comic tackles Ben Cousins the musical'

West Australian news article - 15 May, 2010

Listen - 6PR Breakfast Interview - 5 May, 2010

WA Today online feature article - 5 May, 2010

The Ad that was politely declined by RTR FM

Interview - X- PRESS - Perth, WA - 22 April, 2010

News Article - Herald Sun - 'Big Ben makes his mark'

2010 Melbourne Comedy Festival Reviews

"This is a show not to be missed by AFL lovers and critics alike" X & Y Magazine

"It’s a no-brainer. Go watch it" - Groggy Squirrel

RHUM review                Arts Hub review

An up-to-date, near-the-knuckle and no-holds-barred pop-parody musical in two acts, devised, performed and directed by critically acclaimed football satirist Kieran Butler (Collingwood ruined my Life, **** The Scotsman).

"A very enjoyable and hilarious journey for any AFL fan... an epic adventure... very entertaining... intelligent... truthful... If you want to see witty one liners and sharp satire, 'Ben Cousins - a rock opera' is a must" -  Buzz Cuts, 3RRR (Melbourne)

The narrative is based on the crucifixion, resurrection and redemption of Ben Cousins after his admission that he suffered from drug addiction. The show is a biting satire of society and the media - viewed through the prism of the AFL.

"Promises to be this year's most controversial musical" - Sunday Times

Cousins is cast as an anti-hero who prevails on account of his good looks, naivety and unquenchable appetite for a rollicking good time – to a thumping soundtrack of 70’s and 80’ pop song parodies – featuring live guitar and violin. Having returned to the AFL, Cousins embarks on a career in radio, writes for a newspaper, makes a movie and even releases a rock’n’roll single.  

"Brilliantly scripted and performed... almost obscene value for money" Greg Potter, The Age online


The show features Matt Walsh (Ben Cousins, Mike Fitzpatrick, Nathan Buckley), Michelle Wilson (Jelena Dokic, Caroline Wilson, Violin) and Sean Burke (Mick Malthouse).

In a whirlwind performance – reminiscent of his role in the critically acclaimed Edinburgh show Che Guevara on the Fringe (**** The Scotsman) – Butler holds down roles as the narrator, movie producer, Ned Kelly, Damir Dokic, Andrew Demitriou and Eddie McGuire.

"Best footy comedy orientated show I have seen in ages" - Cam Holmes, Facebook

In it’s original incarnation as part of Butler’s 2009 MICF outing ‘Collingwood Club Therapist’ the show was a complete sell out. A brand new second act was added for the 2009 Melbourne Fringe season and featured 'Ben Cousins’ debut single ‘Flyin High’ – courtesy of independent Perth band ‘Gasoline inc’.

View here

If you have been worried that anarchic and uncompromising Australian satire was on life support, then ‘Ben Cousins – a rock opera’ should reassure you that it is still breathing sporadically.

“Great one-liners, funny songs”Fence Banger

“The show was a scream” - The Phantom

The show has already traveled to Sydney and Adelaide, as well as gaining comprehensive press coverage - from as far a field as Ben's old hometown, Perth. In 2010 the show has been re-tooled and updated and will perform a three week season at the La Mama Courthouse for the MICF, before travelling to Perth for the Wild West Comedy Festival in May.



Will Eddie be able to swallow a dose of his own medicine?

It will have taken over three whole months, but on March 17 critically acclaimed football satirist, Kieran Butler (**** The Scotsman), will finally respond to the comprehensive attack launched on him by Eddie McGuire - with his pop-parody musical in two acts: ‘Ben Cousins – a rock opera’.

In December 2009 McGuire fired a public broadside at Butler after he was taken to task by the comedian at the Collingwood AGM. McGuire labelled Butler “a pseudo Stephen Mayne in the football world” and alleged that any questions Butler had posed were nothing more than a publicity stunt for a show that McGuire went on to incorrectly name – that had not been performed anywhere in Australia since 2008.

Listen Here

‘Ben Cousins – a rock opera’ is a robust satire of the Australian media - viewed through the prism of the AFL. As a major protagonist in the saga of Ben Cousins’ return to the AFL, McGuire is satirised as a “power-drunk, Machiavellian bully” according to writer, director and performer Butler.

“Although he shouldn’t feel in any way singled out. We satire Andrew Bolt as an apologist for Australia’s racism, Andrew Demetriou as a Scorcese-style wise guy, Sam Newman as a bone-headed misogynist, and Damir Dokic as himself. We even have a few light-hearted digs at Ned Kelly, and Mick Malthouse’s obsession with military history.”



Melbourne Leader - Sept 28, 2009

Sunday Times (WA)

Adelaide Advertiser

Herald Sun

Our 'Ben flips the bird' image came first


When Ben met Ned...

June, 2009 - Ben Cousins (Matt Walsh) sought advice from his mentor Ned Kelly – the famous bushranger whose last words now adorn the footballer’s torso - in Glenrowan yesterday.

Cousins would no doubt have confided in Kelly that he was charged with being in possession of caster sugar at an undisclosed location whilst he traveled back through Victoria after performing ‘Ben Cousins – a rock opera’ in NSW over the weekend. It is believed that the caster sugar in question was, in fact, a prop used as part of the show.

Peter Katsambanis, legal adviser for the show said, “I wasn’t there. It is astounding that anyone would believe that a person can be charged with such an offence. I put everyone’s mind at rest late last night when I explained that Kelly Country is not an actual sovereign territory or jurisdiction. No matter what the old fellow at the pub seems to reckon!”