The women behind independent Adelaide theatre company isthisyours? will radically reinvent The Club – one of David Williamson’s most famous plays this April as part of State Theatre Company South Australia’s 2019 program.
It’s not 1977 anymore… A football club on the brink of change; the old guard is being called into question and a new path must be paved. Williamson’s classic satire of tradition, politics and the ruthlessness of men becomes a biting comedy for a new age in the hands of isthisyours?
Under the direction of Tessa Leong, actors Louisa Mignone (Ms Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries), Ellen Steele (After Dinner) and Nadia Rossi (Sista Girl) will become six of Australian theatre’s most infamous men and flip the script on Williamson’s footy satire – without changing a single word.
It’s the first time the company, which presented a small-scale version of the show in Sydney last year to critical acclaim, has been part of a mainstage season. The Club comes to Adelaide ready to make you gasp, make you think, and most of all, make you laugh.
“Working with the members of isthisyours? to create the first professional production of The Club with female actors is awesome,” says Leong – who formed the company with Mignone, Rossi, Steele and Jude Henshall in 2006.
“I grew up watching (and talking through) SANFL games every Saturday and can’t wait to get my hands on this Williamson play which talks about the men of this world with scathing precision. Shout outs to the women of the AFLW who are paving the way not only for women in sport, but for women in the arts.”
Williamson says he can’t wait to see how isthisyours? applies its signature style of devised theatre-making to his 1977 hit. “When I wrote The Club about 40 years ago, about the all-male, testosterone-driven political infighting behind the scenes in an AFL club, I never thought I’d see an all-female production of the play,” he said.
“But as my aim was to satirize males behaving badly, who better to make the satire even sharper than a very talented team of female actors/comedians? They, like all women, have had to endure male bad behaviour all their lives.”
“I anticipate that all men, including myself, will be doing a fair bit of squirming in our seats as isthisyours? offer their version of my play, but I’d be surprised if the women in the audience didn’t respond loudly, and often,” added Williamson.
Director: Tessa Leong Featuring: Louisa Mignone, Nadia Rossi, Ellen Steele Designer: Renate Henschke Lighting Designer: Susan Grey-Gardner Composer and Sound Designer: Catherine Oates Lighting Design Secondment: Meg Wilson
Space Theatre – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Season: 9 – 20 April 2019
Information and Bookings: www.statetheatrecompany.com.au
Image: Louisa Mignone and Ellen Steele feature in The Club – photo by Marnya Rothe
Note: contains coarse language, sexual references and adult themes