Adelaide Fringe: The Sheds

Guide_Image_THESHEDSWritten by James Cunningham, The Sheds is about a gay AFL footballer and the effect his public coming-out has on the club he plays for (The Fitzroy Fighters), his teammates and his best friend.

The drama unfolds within the confines of an AFL locker room (colloquially – “the sheds”). Cunningham twists and turns aspects of masculinity like a Rubik’s cube. The emotional and philosophical conflicts between the three characters are where this show works best, but there are times when the acting, as well as the drama, seemed a little forced.

[pull_left]Cunningham directs with a brisk effectiveness. Sometimes it’s more like a boxing bout complete with referee[/pull_left]

Cunningham directs with a brisk effectiveness; an hour without an interval works well. Sometimes it’s more like a boxing bout complete with referee.

Ludwik Exposto plays club captain Liam Greenwood. Exposto is well cast with a commanding presence and a muscular body but he needs to work on his elocution if he is to progress his thespian vocation. His character also narrates the show with a series of asides, which is effective in analytical and reflective moments but seems unnecessary and hinders the drama at other times.

Andii Mulders enthusiastically rages as the tormented, talented footballer Jimmy Davis. Patrick Chirico in the role of out and proud Darren Anderson is the clear standout performer. He delivers a naturalistic style with a sense of authenticity.

The ending of The Sheds intimates a sub-text to the body of the play which effectively leaves its audience with more of an answer than a question. Interestingly, that audience was over 90% male between the ages of 20ish to 40ish. While they did leave very clearly pleased with what they’d just seen, I don’t think they learned a great deal.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *