David Williamson’s legendary The Club has been performed by every major theatre company in Australia… but never like this.
A football club is on the brink of great change. The old guard is being put into question and a new path must be paved. Tradition vies against innovation in a world where mateship, casual violence, homophobia and racism are not commonplace but par for the course. In this community, a pool table and a whiskey bottle are the go-to for letting off steam. But the pressure is on to be the hero, and to save the team and the name of the club in the process.
This bold new imagining of David Williamson’s classic 1977 play by isthisyours? is daring and unashamedly irreverent, a razor-sharp theatrical reinvention that flips the script on an Aussie classic.
Under director Tessa Leong, actors Louisa Mignone, Ellen Steele and Nadia Rossi reimagine Williamson’s play without changing a word. ‘As soon as you say those words as women, that’s a comment in itself,’ Mignone says. ‘It makes you really think about the content and the conversations that are happening in a different way. You wouldn't get that if it was just straight men playing these roles, as it was intended.’
Through the use of costuming and comedy, Leong creates a considered argument for the construction of gender whilst the actors work to a madcap pace. But as The Club reaches its conclusion, the audience is reminded of how much – or how little – has changed since the play’s first inception.
The Engine Room - Bendigo
Adelaide Festival Centre
“The show is cleverly designed to be robustly accessible without veering into grotesquery and the more pointed of the anachronistic dialogue is swiftly passed over. This intelligent understanding of the sophistication of modern audiences invites the watcher into a world of satire without mockery.”
“As devised by the indie company Is This Yours?, this production of The Club is a bold experiment of the kind that should be applauded and encouraged: without this kind of imaginative approach we might as well just stay home and watch footie [sic] on the modular.”
“Leong has a good eye for narrative structure and shape, and she manages to almost retro-fit The Club with a greater sense of its own capacity and capability for satire. [It’s] downright refreshing to see women place their own mark on a play, and a playwright, considered an influential cornerstone of the Australian theatrical tradition. ”