Football (in all its renditions) is one of the world’s most beloved sports, captivating fans of all ages and cultures. It’s no wonder that the sport has inspired a number of plays and musicals over the years. In this article, we’ll explore five plays and musicals about football, each with its own unique take on the game. Mind you, we’ve stretched our definition to include soccer as well – don’t hate us.
1. Aussie Rules the Musical
“Aussie Rules the Musical” is a fun-filled comedy with clever songs, dances, and hilarious situations. Produced for its premiere season in August 2000 by Hobart’s Old Nick Theatre Company, the musical surpassed box office expectations and received rave reviews. Set in a country town, the show examines the effects of urbanisation on rural communities and the valuable role sporting and service clubs play in uniting communities. The show combines humor, music, dance, and a serious side to create an uplifting and entertaining experience.
2. The Club
Written by David Williamson, “The Club” is a classic of Australian theatre. First performed in 1977, it is set in the inner workings of a fictional Australian rules football club and explores the politics, power struggles, and personalities involved. The play is a biting satire of Australian culture and the way in which sport can become a vehicle for ego, power, and corruption.
3. Fever Pitch
“Fever Pitch” is a play adapted from Nick Hornby’s autobiographical novel of the same name. First performed in 1992, it tells the story of a young man’s obsession with Arsenal Football Club and how it affects his relationships and life. The show explores the way in which football can become an all-consuming passion and the impact it has on our lives. It’s a heartfelt and relatable portrayal of fandom and the way in which it can shape our identity.
4. State of Origin: The Musical
“State of Origin: The Musical” is a stage production that tells the story of Ron McAuliffe, who becomes the president of the Queensland Rugby League and tries to overcome 21 straight years of defeat in the State of Origin. The musical follows Ron as he frustrates his wife, friends, supporters, players, and the public while losses mount. Eventually, he reaches out to the Queenslanders playing in Sydney, and together they learn where you belong is where your heart finds a home.
5. The Truth about Kookaburras
“The Truth About Kookaburras” is a play that examines the psychology of male identity in the aftermath of a football team’s Buck’s night where a body is discovered. The play is intense and intriguing, written by Brisbane playwright Sven Swenson.
“The Wolves” is a play by Sarah DeLappe that follows a high school girls’ soccer team as they train for their games. First performed in 2016, the play explores the complex relationships between the team members and their struggles with adolescence and identity. The show delves into the intense and often fraught dynamics of team sports and how they can shape our relationships and sense of self.
“The Beautiful Game,” also known as “The Boys in the Photograph,” is a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton. Set in Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1969, it follows a local football team as they attempt to overcome the violence that has engulfed their community. The show explores the emotional toll of political and religious strife and the way in which football can serve as a unifying force. It’s a powerful and poignant portrayal of the way in which sport can be both a reflection of and a balm for the troubles of the world.
Whether it’s through humour, satire, or heart-wrenching drama, these five plays and musicals about football offer a glimpse into the way in which this beloved sport can shape our lives and our communities. From the inner workings of a football club to the emotional dynamics of a high school team, these shows remind us of the power of sports to bring us together and transform us as individuals.