David Williamson's The Club
The Club by David Williamson, although first staged in 1977, is surprisingly reflective of many issues still facing Australian Rules Football teams: money rather than team spirit or tradition govern the management of clubs; coaches are sacked; administrators control decisions; players are bought for absurd sums; and bitter disputes are played out in the media. The main difference is the number of zeros after the dollar sign.
The play records the turning point in the 70's when VFL was heading to AFL, coaches were no longer ex-players from the team they coached and businessmen took over clubs.
This popular Williamson play encapsulates what thing he did best: write about Australian men engaged in macho competitive battles. Ted, the blustering President, conspires with his oily administrator, Gerry, and bully-boy board member, Jock, to replace ex-player/coach, Laurie, and to buy top players in order to win the club's first premiership in 19 years. The club is riddled with sabotage, betrayal, backstabbing and resentment. If you want a secret kept do not tell any of these men.
The play is big, broad and very funny even if you know nothing about footy.
Written By : David Williamson
Directed by : Vicky Horwood