THE hilarious comedy El Diablo finally comes to Wonthaggi and Yarram, after the show was cancelled twice in 2021 due to statewide lockdowns, and audiences are guaranteed laughs with another original serving by one of Gippsland’s premier theatre companies.

Set in a high-class restaurant, the comedy centres on an ordinary couple experiencing fine dining for the first time.

“This is fish out of water, clash of cultures comedy, sending up the whole pretentious foodie thing, and shining a light on just how ridiculous gourmet dining actually is,” says writer/director Phillip A Mayer.

“It’s so much fun throwing normal people into this alien world where pompous, overblown and self-important people look down on them, as if they don’t belong. It’s something everyone can relate to, feeling excluded and judged.”

The comedy started touring in November last year when restrictions were eased, and audiences immediately responded.

“We were presented with the extra hurdle of having to adapt rehearsals due to COVID, but it didn’t stop us, and audiences obviously had a thirst for something funny because we’ve been selling out everywhere. Comedy needs physical interaction to develop, but the cast have been amazing, working to achieve the standard audiences expect from HT&E.”

When average couple Paul and Maurine finally get a booking at the ritzy and popular El Diablo restaurant, they look forward to hobnobbing with celebrities and wealthy social elites, but their preconceptions are soon shattered, and their evening turns pear-shaped upon the arrival of so-called upper-crust couple Ian and Siobhan.

“This is a real square peg in a round hole situation, where normal average people meet pretentious entitlement, and the ensuing craziness is so much fun.”

This new comedy by the multi-award-winning HT&E Theatre Co. was inspired by an article during lockdown, where people were complaining about not being able to go to expensive restaurants.

“The entitlement of some people, with zero consideration for most people who were doing it hard, suffering without much support, was amazing, so we thought we’d explore that sense of privilege. It’s part observational comedy, with a big helping of farce. We’ve had audiences in stitches watching the train wreck unfold.

“We’re really excited to get back to Wonthaggi and our association with Wonthaggi Theatrical Group. We’ve developed a great relationship with WTG and The Shed space and we’re fortunate to have amazing local audiences who enjoy a good inappropriate laugh. We feel very lucky to be able to perform, as it’s been difficult for live theatre over the last two years, and we hope people come out for a great night of laughs.”

El Diablo is an engaging story with outrageous characters and social commentary.

“It’s what everyone needs now, to get them back to live performance, something fun with some great messages.”

The company have had hit Melbourne Comedy Festival shows, including Couples! and Table 17, and the award-winning Bogan Shakespeare.

“The cast are brilliant and have built a highly entertaining piece of comedy and made the characters very real and relatable. It’s a treat for the actors to play these people and it’s a treat for audiences.”

El Diablo is showing at WTG’s The Shed, State Coal Mine, Garden Street Wonthaggi for one night, Saturday, April 23. Tickets are available online at trybooking.com/BTOCI or by calling 0409 878 688. Tickets will be limited at the door. Also showing at The Regent Theatre, Commercial Road in Yarram on Saturday, April 30. For tickets, go to trybooking.com/BYHUI or phone 0418 585 285.