As football fever envelops the world, Urban Theatre Projects’ one-man production, The Football Diaries, is embarking on a tour to South Africa. The tour kicks off at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, on 3 July (coinciding with the FWC Quarter Finals) and ends at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg, the day before the Finals.

 

The Football Diaries introduces a fresh new voice to Australian theatre, Ahilan Ratnamohan. Ahilan is a young Australian / Sri-Lankan footballer and artist, who makes a direct and complex address to his intimate audience.

 

The work, punctuated by video installations, is a personal and engaging meditation on art and sport that encompasses not only the blood, sweat and tears of a footballer, but pop culture and contemporary Australian life. The narrative, devised by Ahilan and director Lee Wilson, is drawn from Ahilan’s journal entries whilst seeking and failing to gain a professional player’s contract in Europe, and showcases his virtuoso football skills alongside his insights into an athletes’ experience of space, time and emotion.

 

Urban Theatre Projects’ (UTP) reputation for producing critically acclaimed and culturally-contemporary Australian work for international audiences is further highlighted by the invitation to tour this production into a South African context. Urban Theatre Projects is the first Australian company to be invited to Grahamstown’s National Arts Festival.

 

The Football Diaries premiered at Hackett House in Bankstown in April 2009, and saw close to sell out attendance.

 

Ratnamohan’s ball skills are enviable and entertaining… His narration is engaging and his observations on the ugly side of the so-called “beautiful game” are acute. The Sydney Morning Herald

Urban Theatre Projects’ The Football Diaries is on its way to South Africa

 

South Africa tour details:

National Arts Festival; Grahamstown, 3, 4 July

Festival of Hope (a FIFA and streetworldfootball event); Johannesburg, 7 July

Market Theatre; Johannesburg, 8 - 10 July

 

Presented by the Australian High Commission in South Africa, the National Arts Festival and Urban Theatre Projects

 

Director/Devisor: Lee Wilson

Performer/Devisor: Ahilan Ratnamohan

 

Set & Lighting: Mirabelle Wouters Dramaturg: Alicia Talbot

Sound Artist: James Brown Technical Operations: Frank Mainoo

Sound Artists: Lara Thoms and Frederick Rodrigues

Production Manager: Mick Jessop

Tour Manager: Bibi Serafim

Redevelopment and Tour Producer: Michelle Kotevski