Sunday, January 21, 2018


In The Club by Patricia Cornelius. 

Directed by Geordie Brookman. State Theatre of South Australia.  Odeon Theatre. Queen Street. Norwood. February 23rd – March 18. Bookings: BASS 131 246

Preview by Peter Wilkins

Sense and Sensibility cast. StateTheatre of South Australia
 In recent years, the State Theatre of South Australia has been a regular visitor to Canberra to present work as part of the Canberra Theatre’s Collected Works season. Theatre-goers may recall excellent productions including Andrew Bovell’s When the Rain Stops Falling in association with Brink Theatre, Andrew Bovell’s Things I Know To Be True in association with the London-based physical theatre company Frantic Assembly, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Ernest and most recently the stunning production of George Orwell’s 1984, in association with The Headlong, the Nottingham Playhouse and London’s Almeida Theatre.
Playwright Kate Hamill

 This year, State Theatre of South Australia will again visit Canberra to present Kate Hamill’s sparkling adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, under the direction of State Theatre’s Artistic Director, Geordie Brookman. It has been hailed as a “night not to be missed.”

Currently in rehearsal in preparation for its Adelaide Festival premiere opening on February 23rd. is Patricia Cornelius’s riveting and provocative play about sexual violence within the football fraternity. In The Club comes as a timely warning to expose the unspoken rules of partying with sporting heroes. The current circumstance of Olympian gymnastics coach and sexual predator, Canadian, Michel Arsenault  brings this issue into sharp focus. 
Playwright Patricia Cornelius

Cornelius is a co-founder of Melbourne’s Worker’s theatre and is recognized as Australia’s most unapologetic playwright. Her earlier, confronting and award-winning plays include Slut for Platform Youth Theatre, The Call for Griffin Theatre Company, Love for Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne and Hog’s Hairs and Leeches, also for Malthouse. Uncompromising in her mission to uncover injustices, Cornelius could well be called Australia’s Sarah Kane,
In The Club  is told from the perspective of three women and delves into the dark, off-field culture, investigating the conditions that create “pack behaviour” and the damaging consequences that can occur for women. Cornelius says “Australian love our footy rules. We’re mad for it. We love “our boys. We love the way they rise up to mark the ball. We love how they go in hard…We forgive them for almost anything. They’re our champions. In The Club examines how we allow our champions …to take whatever risks come their way, and, worst of all, how they can behave in brutal and lawless ways.”

Director Geordie Brookman
Director Geordie Brookman regards Cornelius as “one of the bravest and most exciting writers in the country.” He is excited by the prospect of directing such a powerful play that will challenge and stretch his ensemble of fine actors. Set and lighting designers Geoff Cobham and Chris Petridis have taken inspiration from contemporary video Artist Bill Viola, whose iconic imagery has featured in galleries and exhibitions that stretch public imagination and intellect. Brookman promises a production that will be almost cinematic in its speed and transition in keeping with Cornelius’s “kind of rough poetry that isn’t quite naturalistic and yet contains a massive emotional overload”

Rachel Burke in IN THE CLUB

 In The Club is hardly Sense and Sensibility, but it is an important, in fact crucial contemporary voice in support of all women and victims of sexual violence in the sporting world. Canberra audiences will need to travel to Adelaide during the Adelaide Festival to see this remarkable production. That is unless State Theatre of South Australia and the Canberra Theatre continue their outstanding tradition of bringing the company’s finest productions to Canberra. Let’s hope so. In the meantime, don’t miss the opportunity to see this important production and other Adelaide Festival highlights during Adelaide’s festival month of March.  

CONTENT WARNING; In The Club contains coarse language and adult themes, including explicit retelling of sexual violence. Below are some support services for those affected by any themes of this production:
1800 respect/ 1800 737 732  or
No to Violence\ 1300 766 491 or