A big hello from Parramatta where I am rehearsing Smurf In Wanderland. Writer David Williams has created a very personal examination of what it means to be a football fan. It is touching, funny and fascinating. On paper. But David is also performing it. And so like all actors, he is wrestling with the enormous task of getting the writer’s words exactly right as he lifts them off the paper and into his body and voice. And no, I am not giving him permission to improvise. Writer David is very happy with that, actor David is less so.
I saw a run yesterday in the rehearsal room. Then at the end of the day I checked the news to see how President Xi Jinping’s day had been. And wondered at the timing of having a one-man show about football onstage as the scale of global conflict rapidly increases. Is the scale of the storytelling a hideous mismatch, or a timely reminder that the voices and choices of individuals are increasingly important? David’s show is all about football yes, but it is also all about the values that underpin the code: community, tolerance, inclusion, persistence and hope. Just look at the fan responses to the attack on Borussia Dortmund and the #bedsforawayfans covered in The Guardian.
This week we may be better to look to football rather than to politicians for leadership that can offer hope for a peaceful future.
The Homosexuals is almost sold out (all but the Tuesday 18 April matinee… get in quick)! I am sorry we are not big enough to fit everyone in – we would extend, but Simon Burke is starting rehearsals up in Queensland with Sam Strong for Noises Off. The Bleeding Tree closed on Saturday after a sold-out season at the Wharf… STC would have extended but Paula Arundel is about to open Mr Smith for STCSA and Belvoir. But for those of you who missed it the first and second times around you can catch Paul Capsis performing Angela’s Kitchen IN MALTA!! So here’s to a future life for Australian plays that start at Griffin… revivals, tours, new productions… admittedly small scale in their beginnings, there is no telling how far these plays will go.