Saturday, 26 July 2014

David Williamson's "Managing Carmen" 8:00pm Friday, August 1 2014

Football player. Brownlow medallist. Cross dresser.
Comedy. LIVE on stage

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 Australian living treasure PLAYWRIGHT David Williamson challenges macho perceptions of footballers in his hit play, Managing Carmen. The lead character Brent Lyall is at the top of his game in the AFL but is a cross-dresser, who prefers a pair of Manolo Blahniks to his football boots.

The problem is mainly for his sports manager Rohan Swift, who has to manage Brent and his multitudinous endorsement deals, while keeping his after-hours activities out of the press.

“I have been a follower of AFL for a long while and involved in the game,” Williamson says from the Sunshine Coast, where he alternates his time from his home base of Sydney.

Williamson says the genesis of the play came about when he was thinking about how players are represented by managers, who are “dubious and ruthless characters”.

“The top sports stars make the most of their money from endorsements, so if a manager is faced with a superstar whose habit might stop him earning money, he would fly into a panic and do all kinds of things to cover up the fact,” he says.

“(In the play) there is also a notorious sports journalist on the scent.”

For all the fun of the sports star with the macho image enjoying dressing as a woman, Williamson says the play is not as much about cross-dressing as it is about the monetary exploitation of stars.

From his research, Williamson found out that cross-dressing often acts like a compulsion or addiction, which grows with time, so a cross-dresser who enjoyed dressing up in private previously might eventually feel the need to dress up in public or even perform. “It’s good for storytelling,” Williamson says.

Williamson chose AFL players to write about in this play as they are lean, rather than rugby players, who might be more problematic to get into a frock.

Ultimately Managing Carmen is a comedy with elements of farce, Williamson says.

source: Cairns Post

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