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FootBallistic: It’ll be a Riot

Phil Luke



Let’s talk football.
Yeah I know the Rugby World Cup is around the corner, and the word football is blasphemous in New Zealand, but stick with me. Football itself can be boring to watch, with eleven monkeys juggling a ball with their lanky legs and the occasional sissy scream because someone shoulder charged you. It doesn’t look good. But look up North to England and search in their dictionary for the word “Hooligan”, and football with be along there somewhere. It causes old ladies to shiver when they see their local stadium get ready for a match; and the town to be painted in team colors…or in blood.
Yes the mother of street violence from the Northern Hemisphere is coming down to us and no, it’s not going to tear apart the Westpac Stadium next time the Phoenix miss a goal, or smash up their mascot because they did a piss poor job of tying his shoes. Prepare for a riot! It is invading our local theatre BATS.
Let’s see; the dying minutes of a football game, no goals scored, the crowd’s on its feet and a broken bottle in every fist. If you cannot see where this is going you have no imagination. I don’t mean to ruin the story, but I imagine everyone breaks out into a huge fight. A referee or a rubbish mascot surrounded by furious fans, or you just got your beers and you really want to get back to your missus without spilling a drop.
No? Well, how about a couple of St John workers who are at breaking point, or the catfight to end all catfights?
For the average male this is already promising (especially the catfight) but lets look a little deeper into the ingredients of this production. From here the promises just mount up and take off. Remember Brain Power (sell out Fringe 07 show) and The Henchmen (Young and Hungry 2007)? They had two things in common, blokes beating the crap out of each other and Dean Hewison. Seems like everywhere this Wellington writer goes comes the promise of bruises and bones breaking. If there was anyone who has a degree in writing a play where blokes beat the living crap out of each other, it’s our own Dean.
Allan Henry (protégé of NZ fight choreographer Tony Wolf) is also back. Yes the man behind the choreography The Henchman is back to bully more theatre practitioners into faking the black-eyes and snapping elbows. Yes he is back, and instead of throwing teenagers around the stage he has got full-grown men and two girls on board.
Hmm… sounds like Allan has got his own personal armada. Emile de la Rey (A Bright Room Called Day) will be providing the sound effects stylings each night. Such film nerds are they, that they’ve made their own trailer, check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KyMEGtTITPo
Ben Powdrell rounds out the trio, writing the ‘stories’. I highly doubt it will be a moving play but who cares?! This play may not have a catharsis, or may not hit a deep nerve of ideology, but it has something which is so much more fun: violence on stage. It is very easy to imagine these three sitting around in their flat one night, with a few beers, thinking of what they’d love to see on stage. The cool thing is they actually got off the couch and made it happen.

Tues, September 11 – Sat, September 15,
7pm at BATS $16 full / $12 concession & groups 8+ / $10 DYSO
Season Pass book@bats.co.nz, 04 802 4175