Theatre Works Program

I Heart John McEnroe

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I Heart John McEnroe

Date: 30 Jul 2014 - 10 Aug 2014
Time: Tue-Sat 8:00pm, Sun 5:00pm (no show Sun 3)
Preview: Wed 30 July at 8:00pm
Price: $25 Full / $20 Concession & under 30 / $20 Groups of 8+ ( Preview: $20 Full / $15 Concession & under 30)

World Premiere

Three actors present a precise and unbiased theatrical portrait of John McEnroe.

They fail.

From the age of 17, John McEnroe’s on and off court appearances were often caught on camera making him the Celebrity God of Public Rage. His public personality exists as the sum of multiple  biographies, reams of interviews, YouTube compilations and 1980s fandom.

In the vein of Citizen Kane, UNINVITED GUESTS attempts to assemble a ‘truth’ about the man: the athlete, the celebrity, the father, the hero, the husband, the hot head, the art collector, the son and the commentator. As three actors unpack the complex myth of the world’s biggest raquet-thrower  they wrestle with ideas of competition, presentation and narrative but in doing so,  share their own stories of embarrassment, and unbridled anger. What begins as passive aggressive jibes escalates to bullying, taunting and debasing in what might be for show ... but probably isn’t.

Presented on a tennis court with short-shorts, sweat bands and more ball-boy choreography than Wimbledon, I Heart John McEnroe is a nightly catharsis which satiates our strange desire for loss of face whilst reminding us all that the world is watching.

I Heart John McEnroe is constructed from McEnroe quotes, David Foster Wallace's various writings on tennis, interviews about acting with Orson Welles and transcripts of YouTube clips of irate celebrities caught unawares (Christian Bale and Lily Tomlin) ensuring a performance that is part choreography, part script and part improvisational bullying and never the same every night.

Concept by Clare Watson and Co-Created by Uninvited Guests (Clare Watson, Luke Mullins and Katherine Tonkin)
Directed by Clare Watson
Dramaturg and contributing Writer, Declan Greene
Designer, Jonathon Oxlade
Lighting Designer, Richard Vabre
Sound Designer and Composer, Jethro Woodward
Producer, Josh Wright

Cast: Natasha Herbert, Bert LaBonte, Luke Mullins, Katherine Tonkin and Ivy Miller.

Chris Ryan was part of the initial concept development

Duration: 70 minutes

Warnings: Adult themes, Course language, Strobe lighting

Article in The Age

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Theatre Works respectfully acknowledges the Yalukit Willam Clan of the Boon Wurrung who are the traditional custodians of this land. We pay our respect to their Elders, both past and present. We acknowledge and uphold their continuing relationship to this land and extend that respect to other Indigenous Australians who join us at Theatre Works.