Author: "David Williamson"
Essay Question: "The Club, a mixture of intrigue and comedy, adds up to a serious indictment of our life and times. Discuss."
On the outer surface, David Williamson's 'The Club' is an intriguing and humorous play about the power-plays within a Melbourne football club. But when delved in more deeply, it can be seen that this seemingly simple Australian comedy is a serious indictment of our life and times.
Selfishness, jealousy, envy and greed. These are the images portrayed by the characters of 'The Club'. In essence, they are driven by self-interest, willing to compromise personal and institutional integrity for personal greed and gain. All six characters demonstrate this in one way or another - from the obvious egocentricity of Jock and Gerry to the seemingly loyal and unfaltering Laurie: firstly in his previous ploy to eventually oust Jock and then contemplating sacrificing Danny if it meant he had a better chance of rising to the top:
GERRY : Laurie, what if I told you I could swap, Danny for Tony Marchesi?
(LAURIE looks at Gerry)
That's made you stop and think, hasn't it?
LAURIE : Can you?
GERRY : No, but it made you stop and think, which goes to show that the central assumption of the science of economics - that we'd sell our grandmothers if the price was right - isn't all that far wide of the mark. (page 37)
How does this relate to the 'real world'? Some may say it doesn't - that it is just a fictional story about football; but the behaviour and personality of the characters, if not the characters themselves, are easily recognisable in everyday life, and that in itself is an indictment on our life and times.
'The Club' brings to light the power struggles that are eminent all around us - not only in football clubs, but at all levels - from business to politics to international relations. The audience is intrigued by all of...