Footy Chicks

7 September 2016

Moosehead Award Recipients for the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2003

Two chicks. One Mission. The Brownlow.

Aussie Rules is a man’s world. But behind every gritty defender or star full forward there lurks a league of silent champions – the girlfriends. The women who live their lives in a man’s realm. The women who seem to only be defined by the success of their boyfriend or the success of their latest outfit. But like other women, they have dreams of their own, it just so happens that sometimes these dreams involve going to football’s night of nights: The Brownlow.

Although Footballer’s Wives gave us a soap-like insight into the high rolling world of professional soccer in the UK, we still know very little about the women who appear on the arms of our greatest male sporting celebrities on red carpets all around the country. So Fiona Harris and Katrina Mathers have created footy chicks Fran and Jane. Fran and Jane are old friends and also run an image consultancy company together.

Fran is a strong, intelligent and confident woman with business savvy. She is in a relationship with a two time Brownlow Medal winning footballer. They’ve been engaged for five years, and although she doesn’t mind the game itself, she is not particularly fond of the whole Australian football culture. Jane is shyer than Fran and somewhat less graceful. Unlike Fran, she loves Aussie footy culture as well as the game, and desperately wants what Fran has: a footy player. But not just any footy player. She wants a champion.

In the midst of some serious soul searching and some even more serious matchmaking, the two of them concoct a plan to get to the Brownlow and use the world of football to their advantage.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2003

Written by Fiona Harris

Developed in collaboration with Katrina Mathers

Directed by Roz Hammond

“A slick two-hander… hilarious expose of what some women will put themselves through in the name of being – or becoming – a footballer’s girlfriend” The Age.

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Footy Chicks

Reviewed by Richard Evans  .

Following the exploits of two women, Fran and Jane, Footy Chickspresents a clever take on the culture surrounding AFL. At the play’s outset, Fran has a football player boyfriend. Her friend Jane is eager to snare a date with a player in order to be invited to the Brownlow Medal presentation. Both characters are presented as complex people, though there are elements of caricature for comic affect.

The piece is divided into sections covering everything from attendance at a training session, to how to deal with the inevitable football trip, to the rules for dating a footballer. This makes for a well-paced show, momentum building as the play progress towards a Brownlow climax.

Rather than being cliched, the various segments play with audience expectations and provide a number of plot twists. The nightclub sequence is a good example of a familiar scenario treated in a fresh manner. Clever direction and staging magnify the humour.

Fiona Harris and Katrina Mathers are excellent in the roles of Fran and Jane, creating a wonderful Odd Couple type relationship. They are also recipients of a 2003 Moosehead Award. Based on the quality of writing and performance in Footy Chicks, they will be well worth watching in the future.

Footy Chicks also tackles themes of gender in sport, without diluting the satirical take on football. The second half is replete with witty observations regarding the status of women in AFL. There’s an inherent tension in being a female follower of a sport one cannot play above amateur level. This is explored in the course of the play, and provides the context for more than a few funny lines.

The references to football personalities and situations are general enough, that those with just a fleeting knowledge of football will enjoy Footy Chicks. The show is also an antidote to the macho posturing which frequently accompanies coverage of the AFL. It’s funny, entertaining and well worth seeing.



“A slick two-hander… hilarious expose of what some women will put themselves through in the name of being – or becoming – a footballer’s girlfriend” The Age.

“…a pleasant surprise… finely-honed acting skills and timing that keep the laughs coming… a refreshing comedy of manners” The Chaser Newspaper

“…people were relaxed and laughing, talking about great stuff they’d seen: Frank Woodley’s The Happy Dickwit, and Noel Fielding’s Voodoo Hedgehog, and the Footy Chicks, and Dave O Neil, and Men In Coats and Lee Mack.” Danny Katz, The Age

“Harris and Mathers delivered a tight and amusing performance… the characters were made real by well-honed acting abilities… there was a script and decent production and it was funny… music, lighting and costumes were all used to great effect.” InPress





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