First all-female version of Aussie classic The Club comes to the stage

State Theatre Company | 2-Apr-2019
The women behind independent Adelaide theatre company isthisyours? will radically reinvent one of David Williamson's most famous plays as part of State Theatre Company's 2019 program.
Louisa Mignone and Ellen Steele in The Club. Photo by Marnya Rothe.
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 The Club, 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.

"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 around 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 - 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?" he says. "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."

David Williamson's The Club: an all-female, 3-actor version, also comprises an all-female creative team, including Renate Henschke (Game of Thrones), composer Catherine Oates and State Theatre Company's Head of Lighting, Susan Grey-Gardner.

The show is at Space Theatre, Adelaide, from April 5-20.

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