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BARRACKING FOR THE UMPIRE Comes to Subiaco Arts Centre

Performances run 7-23 October.

BARRACKING FOR THE UMPIRE Comes to Subiaco Arts Centre

From the wickedly funny mind of comedienne Andrea Gibbs (ABC Weekend presenter, Barefaced Stories) comes Barracking for the Umpire.

The Castle meets The Club in this original family drama that asks us: what are we willing to sacrifice for the great game?

Doug Williams is the greatest footballer Donnybrook has ever known. Hard as flint. Salt of the earth.

Delveen, his wife, has been by his side for years, through head knock after head knock. Back in the day, Doug Williams took all the hard knocks the game could dish out - but got up and played on regardless. "...saw the stretcher as an insult. Great courage, Williams."

The club want to honour Doug with a Lifetime Achievement award, so the kids are all flying home to join the celebration. Ben, a rising AFL star, and Mena, an ambitious sports journalist, are reunited with their parents and eldest sister Charaine, who lives in town and has just broken up with Tom, who runs the local Toastmasters group, as well as the local footy club.

There's never a dull moment when the Williams' family gets together. We quickly grow to love these people as they gather for Doug's big day. But we begin to feel an undercurrent. Something's not quite right with Doug...The sure hands of this once great player are starting to fumble the ball. The siblings begin to understand why Charaine lost her passion for football as they witness the decline of their father's health due to repeated head injuries from the game.

Barracking for the Umpire tackles blokes and their vulnerability, the fragility of the human body, and the impacts of brain injury on ourselves, our family, and our community. It is funny, sad, urgent and timely. The discussion about CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) resulting from football concussions is a topical one, and the play explores the effects of this debilitating condition on the heart of a loving family. Barracking for the Umpire investigates the culture of football, family and the sacrifices made for the Great Australian Game.

This story will resonate with every AFL fan, player, and parent.

Clare Watson, Director says "Up there Cazaly, in there and fight...I am a huge Andrea Gibbs fan and with this play, she kicks it out of the park, literally. Reading early drafts of the script the team sat around the table, first laughing and then crying. This family is familiar and loveable...Fight like the devil, the crowd's on your side."

Inspired by real events and her family's passion for football Barracking for the Umpire is Andrea's debut play, commissioned by BLACK SWAN State Theatre Company, and supported by the Malcolm Robertson Foundation and City of Perth as part of the Funny Girl initiative.

CAST: Michael Abercromby, Pippa Grandison, Joel Jackson, Steve Le Marquand, Ebony McGuire, Jo Morris, Ian Wilkes

DIRECTOR Clare Watson, SET & COSTUME DESIGNER Sara Chirichilli, COMPOSER/SOUND DESIGNER Joe Paradise Lui, LIGHTING DESIGNER Lucy Birkinshaw, DRAMATURG Polly Low, STAGE MANAGER Riley Billyeald, ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER Madeleine Young



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