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Managing Carmen at Garrick

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
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High comedy and high drama in the world of footy
David Williamson AO is one of Australia's leading playwrights, and can truly be described as 'the voice of middle Australia.' His characters are vivid and recognisable, and the man next to you in the queue or the stands at the footy, is satirised perfectly in comic representations.

Primarily a playwright, much of his work has been filmed into some critically and financially successful productions The Club, Travelling North, Don's Party and so on. Also recognisable, and applauded, are his screenplays such as Gallipoli and The Year of Living Dangerously.

In 2012 he wrote Managing Carmen, often described as 'his latest', although, being a prolific writer he has published seven plays since then.
Managing Carmen, Garrick Theatre, Siobhan Vincent, David Williamson, Footy
David Williamson OA (Photograph in the public domain)

In Managing Carmen Williamson returns to a major influence in his writing Australian Rules Football, with which he has a love/hate relationship, in this case exploring his concern over the influence of money and power on the clubs' managers, and the lure of lucrative sponsorships which has the power to overwhelm the integrity of the sport, and all of those involved, whether as athletes or as associated players.

Managing Carmen is the Garrick Theatre Club's choice for the opening salvo in their 2021 season. Directed by theatre stalwart Siobhan Vincent (The Glass Menagerie, Popcorn) and with a set designed by Jake Newby, it promises to be a blockbuster. Ticket are selling fast.

Vincent says that Managing Carmen is tricky to stage as there are over forty scene changes as the action flits from offices to bedrooms to club rooms and presents a challenge to cast and crew.
Managing Carmen, Garrick Theatre, Siobhan Vincent, David Williamson, Footy
Sarah House and Tim Present rehearsing Managing Carmen (Photograph by S Vincent)

She has attracted an experienced and talented cast and the play is well into rehearsal before it opens at the end of February.

Vincent: 'The plot concerns Brent Lyall, an outstandingly talented young sportsman. At the age of twenty-three, this lad is already a star player of one of the most successful, established AFL teams. Two Brownlows by the age of 23!

"He is managed by the ruthless and famous sports manager Rohan Swift, a foul-mouthed bully of legendary status. Not only is Brent paid a prodigious amount of money to play AFL football, he makes three times as much with product endorsements.

But he should be raking in a lot more advertising cash - if only he wasn't so guarded in front of every camera! Rohan is determined not to let Brent's uptight performance get in the way of rich endorsement earnings!

While the play and its intent are very serious, even high drama, Williamson has hidden the message very successfully in a hilarious comedy. Even at this stage, rehearsals are punctuated by gales of laughter. Can't wait to see it.

The show has strong language and adult themes.

Managing Carmen runs from 8:00pm on the 25th February 2021 until March 13th, with matinees on the 28th February and March 6th and 7th at Garrick Theatre, 16 Meadow Street, Guildford.

Tickets cost $25 for adults ($22 concession) and may be booked by ringing 9378 1990, emailing or on Trybooking. Tickets are limited by Covid-19 precautions so book early.
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Why? Laughs, drama, footy - what more could you want?
When: 2:00pm and 8:00pm
Phone: 9378 1990
Where: Garrick Theatre, 16 Meadow Street, Guildford, WA
Cost: $25 (Adults) $22 (Concession)
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