Steve Bastoni Plays BARASSI at Athenaeum Theatre, Opening Tonight, Sept 20

BARASSI is the story of iconic Australian footballer, coach, motivator and father of modern football, Ron Barassi depicted in an epic fashion, from child to elder statesman. It is a story of determination, passion and courage, of success and failure.

The producers have announced the cast for this premiere production of Barassi, which will open at the Athenaeum Theatre tonight, 20 September.

Steve Bastoni (Oliver!, Underbelly, 15 Amore) takes on the role of the legendary coach Barassi, whilst Chris Asimos (Danger 5, The Give and Take, Swerve) plays the young Mr Football. Matt Parkinson (The Einstein Factor, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Round the Twist) creates the role of coach and mentor Norm Smith, with Jane Clifton (Prisoner, Mum’s the Word, Dimboola) in the central role of Narrator.

They are joined by Richard Sutherland (Bikie Wars: Brothers in Arms, Tangle, Killing Time), Amanda LaBonte (The Cup, Twelfth Night, Triple Acorn), Glenn Maynard (Neighbours, Wilfred, Brethren), Bartholomew Walsh (A Pillar of Salt, Red Noses, Godspell) and introducing former AFL footballer Russell Robertson (It Takes Two, The Footy Show, Before the Game) in his first stage role.

Writer Tee O’Neill (Best Possible World, The Dogs Play, Stalking Matilda) has received the RE Ross Trust Playwright's Award, New York Siena College International Play Award and International Residency at The Royal Court Theatre in London with her most recent play ‘GR8Skin’ winning the Edward Albee Script Competition.

Director Terence O’Connell (Certified Male, Bouncers, Motherhood the Musical) has staged over 150 productions since graduating from NIDA’s directing course as well as being a regular Guest Director/Artist In Residence at Singapore’s Lasalle College Of The Arts, Ballarat University Arts Academy, National Theatre Drama School, Showfit and Western Australian Academy Of Performing Arts.

Barassi starts in World War II with Ron’s champion footballer father, Ron Senior tragically killed in Libya. We follow the development of young Ron under the care and mentorship of legendary coach Norm Smith as he develops into “the father of modern football”.

Ever driven to challenge himself, and live up to the impossible memory of his father, Barassi makes the transition from champion player to revolutionary coach achieving the status of legend on the way. His football success shows no bounds while his marriage, business and old club Melbourne crumble.

It’s not the moments that make the man, it’s the man who makes the moments. His determination, innovation, sense of humour and humanity transform him from a young man dealing with a very personal tragedy to a man who at 72 rushes to the defence of a stranger.

Tickets are on sale now. Visit or call 1300 795 012, or the Athenaeum Theatre at 9650 1500.

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