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Brisbane review – 37: expertly-crafted piece of theatre

By Nahima Abraham



Written by Nathan Maynard

Directed by Isaac Drandic

Presented by Queensland Theatre

Merivale Street

West End

Duration 90 mins without interval.

Facing the audience, clad in black and white team colours, the Cutting Cove Currawongs stand tall…ish. With a quirky team song, and not much else, the team is jaded; tired. Under the ministrations of their coach, The General, (Syd Brisbane) the bottom-of-the-ladder team have been working their way up over the past three years rung by rung.

However, they’re still far and away from near winning a Championship flag. At the end of their tether, The Currawongs’ salvation comes knocking. A powerhouse-duo arrives from the Valley in the form of the Marngrook cousins, Jayma (Ngali Shaw) and Sonny (Tibian Wyles). Aboriginal and proud, the pair are welcomed into the team with a tepid, mixed reception. Despite not naming the entire cast, each member brought something to the table; all of them winners in the eyes of the audience – if the standing ovation was to be believed.

37 is set during 2015, the time of Adam “Goodsey” Goodes’ significant war-cry, a situation that had many chins wagging, and sparked meaningful conversations about racism all over the country. This play is no exception.

 Put simply, 37 is an expertly-crafted piece of theatre, handling sincere, honest discourse around what some might deem uncomfortable topics. It is subversive, cheeky, and in-your-face. The Nathan Maynard/Isaac Drandic pairing is something we need more of, and to see how well received the show was at opening, we aren’t alone in this sentiment.

While there are heavy themes that are broken down in the program of the show, and not to mention, copious and colourful cussing, this play was a “doozy”. 37 was more than just a play about racism in Australia. It was more than its heavy themes of male mental health and behaviour. It was more than just larrikin Lads doing “Lad Things” like sticking fingers up the backside of cows. (If you know, you know.) This play was more than the sum of its parts. It is a genuine, wonderful, important play. A play that everyone, no matter their creed, needs to see. If you live in Australia, and you are over the age of fifteen, you need to see 37. Get in on it.



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