Papakura’s Hawkins Centre starts the year with the popular sporting comedy play The Underarm.
Already popular for dance, theatrical and school musical, performances, the Centre’s 300-seat air-conditioned theatre is this year embarking on an exciting programme of community and professional performances.
The Underarm, written by Justin Gregory and David Geary, is a two-person theatre production starring Christopher Brougham and Alan Brunton (Facelift), directed by Geoff Pinfield (Maui and The Magic Chicken), and written by David Geary (Lovelock’s Dream Run ) and Justin Gregory.
The show appeals to all ages and interests and tells the story of two brothers torn apart by conflicting views of the infamous 1981 cricketing incident during a one-day test between Australia and New Zealand. Kiwi Col and Aussie Don are brothers, from a family split in two as a result of the most infamous act in sporting history – The Underarm. Twenty-five years later, the brothers meet at a test match at the Basin Reserve to put on trial the man who ruined their lives – Aussie cricket captain, Greg Chappell, and to ask the eternal question – “Greg, what the $%!* were you thinking?”
On that day in 1981, Kiwi World Series hopes were dashed at the last ball of the match which was delivered by Trevor Chappell as an under-arm bowl, making it all but impossible to score the six runs required to draw the match let alone win it.
The ball used in that delivery will be displayed at the Hawkins Theatre during the production’s season.
Hawkins Centre manager Graeme Bennett says the play captures the political and sporting overtones of its time: then-Prime Minister of New Zealand Robert Muldoon described the dastardly deed as “an act of cowardice”. His Australian opposite number, Malcolm Fraser, labelled it “contrary to the traditions of the game.” The play captures the comedy and farce of the incident.
Past and present New Zealand and English cricket players and administrators, along with the Beige Brigade and representatives from the Barmy Army are set to converge on Papakura for the Gala opening night on Saturday 16th February 2008, the day after New Zealand plays England in a one-day match, and throughout the remaining seven show season.
As part of the Counties Manukau Cricket Jubilee year a portion of the value of all tickets sold throughout the Papakura season will be handed on as a donation to Counties Manukau Cricket Association Jubilee Year and also to the NZ Cricket Players Hardship Fund.
Tickets for The Underarm are now on sale and can be purchased from Papakura Paper Power or by phoning 0800 4 TICKETS (0800 484253) or at www.ticketdirect.co.nz
Graeme is urging local people to book early as the show sold out at Tauranga Arts Festival and received rave reviews.