This event has finished

If you thought coming out of the closet was hard, try coming out in the locker room

There are two things that happen every September in Melbourne – one is the AFL Grand Final, and the other is the Melbourne Fringe Festival. Footy and Fringe sound fairly mutually exclusive, but this year, a new stage play, The Sheds, is a collision of two very different cultures – and then some.

Written and directed by James Cunningham, The Sheds is about how a fictional AFL premier team deals with one of its players coming out as gay, and is set in the one location: the locker room, or ‘the sheds’ over the course of a footy season. Yes, it sounds like a gay man’s fantasy, and Cunningham knows that, so there will be nudity, there will be bad language, footy jumpers and shorts and Speedos, and there will be a fight – in the shower. But that’s not all that’s going on. The play also explores depression and suicide, and homophobia, of course.

It’s a change of pace for Cunningham, who’s more experienced as a filmmaker. In fact, The Sheds started life as a short film script, until he decided to rewrite it as a stage play for the Fringe Festival. “I love festivals, and the idea of an uncurated festival was liberating because it meant I could do anything I want,” says Cunningham. “I do like controversy, I like pushing people’s buttons, and I like that it puts bums on seats. And I like the fact that AFL in Melbourne is like a sacred cow. I wanted to push the idea of a gay football player.”

Gay footballers have always been controversial, even though no AFL players have come out, but Cunningham wanted to take a different view. “I got thinking that maybe in 2013 the team is more supportive of a gay player, and maybe the team has no issue with it, but it’s the manager’s fear of a public backlash, which was much more interesting to me. So this is a fictional ‘what if?’.”

The Sheds is a private world made public,” says Cunningham. “We’re really breaking down the four walls; one of the characters is a narrator, who constantly talks to the audience. The audience is like a fly on the wall. It’s my interpretation of what goes on in an AFL locker room.” 

First published on . Updated on .

By Tim Hunter   |  

The Sheds details

Address
318 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North 3068

Transport
Nearby Stations: Merri

Price $20.00 to $28.00

Date 18 Sep 2013-06 Oct 2013

Open Mon-Thu 8pm; Fri 9pm; Sat 8pm; Sun 6.30pm

LongPlay map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby

Ashkelon Food Store

66m - Putting a positive spin on ready-made meals, Ashkelon Food store makes...

Supermaxi

99m - Supermaxi is the perfect precursor to a night on the tiles with your best...

Al Albero

138m - So you like the thick base? At Al Albero, they understand that a thickset...

Danny's Burgers

144m - Being around since 1945 means these guys not only know how to make a decent...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

Bouquet and Garter

68m - As you might have guessed from the name, this hair and beauty salon...

M1ng Gallery

276m - M1ng gallery hosts a whole range of different contemporary artists using...

Deutsche Schule

442m - Deutsche Schule Melbourne is a German English bilingual school located in...

More venues nearby

You might also like

Perfect day

Perfect day

Follow our itinerary towards what we reckon is a pretty perfect day

Staycations

Staycations

Bunker up in a boutique hotel for the night and making like a tourist

Pub Guide

Pub Guide

Discover Melbourne's best 50 pubs right here, right now

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus