One man’s insightful and hilarious examination of football, tribalism, belonging and identity, Griffin Theatre Company in association with the National Theatre of Parramatta presents Smurf in Wanderland – a must-see for both theatre-lovers and football fans alike across Western Sydney and beyond.
Acclaimed documentary theatre maker, writer and football fanatic, David Williams is the ‘Smurf’. For the uninitiated, ‘Smurf’ is the nickname given to a Sydney Football Club Fan and ‘Wanderland’ is the home ground of the Western Sydney Wanderers.
During the 2013-14 A League football season, Williams, a long-suffering Sydney FC fan, frequented Western Sydney Wanderers’ games on their home turf in Parramatta. Kitted out in his Sydney FC sky-blue jersey, Williams-the-Smurf stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the sea of red and black.
His presence caused bewilderment and banter, but none of the hooliganism that’s come to be associated with the game. Instead of fearing for his life, Williams found a beautiful and profound unity amongst the ritual and fierce loyalty of the Wanderers fans.
This is a story that breaks down the barriers of geography and debunks the myths of hooliganism at the football. It tells a tale of loyalty and unity integral and familiar to all football fans.
Directed by Griffin Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Lee Lewis, Smurf in Wanderland explores what it means to be a fan, the demonisation of fans and the artificial wedge that has been created between Sydney and its western suburbs.
In conjunction with the production, National Theatre of Parramatta presents the exhibition, Wanderland by award-winning photographer and die-hard Western Sydney Wanderers fan, Eric Berry. Running in the the foyer of Riverside Theatres until 29 April, the exhibition will feature stunning images from the Western Sydney Wanderers matches, and a unique insight into the magic of football.
Director: Lee Lewis Featuring: David Williams Set and Costume Designer: Charles Davis Lighting Designer: Luiz Pampolha Sound Designer and Composer: James Brown Dramaturg: Kate Worsley
Smurf in Wanderland
Lennox Theatre – Riverside Theatres, Corner Church and Market Streets, Parramatta
Season: 21 – 29 April 2017 (preview: 20 April)
Information and Bookings: www.riversideparramatta.com.au
SBW Stables Theatre, 10 Nimrod Street, Kings Cross
Season: 3 – 13 May 2017 (preview: 2 May)
Information and Bookings: www.griffintheatre.com.au
Image: David Williams as the ‘Smurf’ (supplied)