If you were in Australia in 2013 it would have been impossible to have missed at least a passing mention of the doping scandal that engulfed Essendon Football Club.

Whether you cared a fig about the legality of its supplements program is another matter, but it won’t stop you enjoying this original and entertaining saga, because Kit Richards, who managed to make Australia’s grazing history interesting in her earlier production Wool! A History of Australia’s Wool Industry: The Musical, has a talent for making otherwise dull stories fun and interesting. And for writing good songs.

For those with no interest in footy or understanding of what happened, Richards’ one-hour musical is a good chance to catch up.

And for die-hard fans who share her one-eyed view of the whole sad affair, this is a moment to rail against past injustices and mourn the team’s loss.

There’s some technical references to ASADA and WADA and other characters you may not be familiar with, but the backing band floats in and out of the show, explaining odd bits or asking leading questions to link sections. The brilliant choice of name – Band Substances – reflects the nerdy, rather cute humour. It features Elly Hewitt on lead guitar, Dom Buckham on bass & Kelly Dingeldei on drums. All sing as well. The talented team works well together and riff off each other nicely – their friendship is palpable.

Richards was born to a Bomber-fanatic dad was raised in the red and black and her happy place is at the MCG in their regular seats, surrounded by The Bombers Family. So seeing her team pilloried by the press, fined, penalized and finally banned hit very hard on many levels; even wearing team colours on the street became cause for cruel comments.

So her account of the incident may be slightly biased, and friends of Stephen Dank or Caroline Wilson might not agree with her take, but everyone else with get a good laugh out of it. Plus there’s some damn fine music involved.

Event details

Kit Richards presents
Scandal! A Reflection on Essendon’s Doping Saga: The Musical?

Director Lucy Rees

Venue: Trades Hall | 54 Victoria St, Carlton, Vic
Dates: 25 March – 4 April 2021
Tickets: $24 – $29
Bookings: (03) 9245 3788 | www.comedyfestival.com.au

 

Related Articles

Business with Pleasure | Anne Edmonds and Lloyd Langford Business with Pleasure | Anne Edmonds and Lloyd Langford
Who knows if their stories are fact or phony? they work them so well together, I am laughing too much to care. Sneer all you like about celebrity goss but there’s something fascinating about...
We Are All in This | Tom Ballard We Are All in This | Tom Ballard
In lesser hands this could easily bomb, but the heady topical mix, the well-timed delivery and the weaved-in references to his personal life make Ballard worth seeing, regardless of one's political...

Most read Melbourne reviews

Master of the deadpan, harsh host of Hard Quiz, and heartless interrogator on Hard Chat, making...


Despite its seemingly bleak subject matter, Come From Away is joyous, hilarious, hopeful,...


It doesn’t matter how much you know or care about the legality of the Essendon Football Club...


Swapping 16th Century Verona for 1930s Hollywood, and a lengthy title for the short and snappy...


This play is that guest at your dinner party who, with one potent observation, generates such...