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The Club

Autor:   •  March 14, 2011  •  Essay  •  472 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,117 Views

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1976 some jeremiahs greeted the news

that Australia's most popular playwright was

working on a play about football—Australia's

most consuming form of popular theatre—with

mutterings about the dangers of sacrilege, or

of pandering to the public. But it didn't take

an expert to tip the success of The Club at the

box office. The degree of success has, however,

exceeded anyone's expectations, even in

Melbourne, the football culture in which the play

is set. The Club, in its premiere season which

opened on 24 May 1977 at the Russell Street

Theatre, played to packed houses for an extended

four-month run, and brought unprecedented

profits to the Melbourne Theatre Company;

twenty months later it was back again, the laughs

and full houses showing no signs of flagging. Its

infiltration of the Rugby States was almost as

triumphant. The Nimrod Theatre production in

Sydney was scheduled for tours and subsequent

transfers to a larger theatre even before it


Within two years of its first production, The

Club appeared, in very distinguished company,

on sixth-form syllabuses in four Australian

States. That was a quite extraordinary mark

of the new respectability of Australian drama;

while its popularity and the relative politeness,

for a Williamson play, of its language, perhaps

recommend it to the people who devise the

syllabuses, someone up there is inviting us to

apply standards of success to The Club which are

not necessarily related to box offices.

David Williamson has a great capacity for

writing plays which a lot of people want to see.

This makes him a rare, and sometimes unfairly

disparaged, figure in contemporary Australian


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