DESIGNER: STEVEN BUTLER
LIGHTING DESIGNER: PETER NEUFELD
Brent Lyall (Leigh Scully) is a freakish young sporting talent. At the age of twenty three he is already captain of one of the most powerful football clubs in the land. Managed by the legendary Rohan Swift, Brent’s blossoming career, and the
millions that come with it, seem assured. But Brent has an explosive secret which is on the verge of becoming public. So Rohan hires the brilliant psychologist Jessica (Rachel Gordon) to find out what Brent is trying to hide…but soon wishes he
David Williamson’s brand new play is an uproariously funny comedy about football, identity and slingbacks.
"It’s almost an echo of The Club, going back to that territory that David’s very, very good at and knows very well. It’s a very funny, very poetic, beautiful comedy. It’s about gender and sexual politics, but in the end it’s also about who we
are, who we are perceived to be and what we really want people to think of us."
DIRECTOR MARK KILMURRY
"A great deal of fun and highly entertaining — and a reminder that we shouldn’t take life too seriously.
Leigh Scully is perfectly plausible as both footballer and his alter-ego Carmen. Hazeldine is creepily corrupt as the ruthless manipulator and Hynes is suitably sleazy as the stereotypical sports journalist. Rachael Gordon gives an authentic
performance and is at her best when she is exploring her own preconceptions and facing her own prejudices. Morganna O’Reilly’s larger-than-life, ex hooker/wannabe model…and Lyall form a funny, flirtatious party duo and raise the humour levels
Director Mark Kilmurry creates some very pacy and funny stage business, maximising the surprises and reversals that Williamson’s neat plot line offers." Geraldine Worthington, Oz Baby Boomers
"This looks like being a monster hit for Williamson and for the Ensemble, his ‘spiritual home’. Under Mark Kilmurry’s fast and fluid direction, the play has masses of laughs and something to say about the treatment and toleration of minorities.
The Ensemble audience, fully warmed up in the second act, raise the roof as fab frocks and disco dancing win the day. It was almost Christmas panto time." Frank Hatherley, Stage Whispers
"Mark Kilmurry's production is pacy and energetically performed" Jason Blake, Sydney Morning Herald
"Managing Carmen is a light hearted romp around media and masculinity issues" Elissa Blake, Sun Herald
"It's the surprises that make this play one of Williamson's best...the audience were literally dancing in the aisles...the final scene brought a great burst of applause from the whole audience, everyone in the theatre space emotionally linked in
the joy of the moment." Frank McKone, Canberra Critics Circle
"Glenn Hazeldine is very good at splenetic rage and near-apoplexy, which means he spends a fair amount of time being alarmingly funny in David Williamson's bitter-sweet new comedy,Managing Carmen. Hazeldine plays Rohan, business manager of
superstar footballer Brent (Leigh Scully), a man with the off-field charisma of a tree trunk.
What is interesting, is that in a comedy whose under-story - its bass notes - are about tolerance and intolerance, Brent's deep, dark secret is cross-dressing. This signals - accurately - that being gay would no longer be sufficient motivation to
cruel his career. Just the opposite, in many instances - think Ellen and her multimillion dollar endorsements, including the hilarious anti-ad for Bic's infamous "Lady Pen".
Cross dressing, however, is different. It still is a taboo and little understood. This is a man who isn't gay, isn't transexual, doesn't want to be a woman and doesn't want to have sex with men. He's a heterosexual man who's a champion athlete
and who also likes dressing up in women's clothing and being…Carmen!
As the writer is David Williamson, what happens is both humorously predictable and also sweetly and humanly just the opposite. Acceptance and rejection come from unexpected quarters; outcomes are not what one might expect or be prepared for. Mark
Kilmurry's fluid direction keeps the players and the play humming along.
Glenn Hazeldine and Morgana O'Reilly are consistently and inventively funny; and Rachel Gordon and Leigh Scully make the most of their classic romantic leads. Well, classic when both hero and heroine wear the skirts." Diana Simmonds,