Knackers play in finals. McCartney’s Bulldogs on track for finals

John Harms encouraged me last year to promote any other writing I was involved in apart from the Almanac.

So just a quick plug for the National Playwright Competition this year. My one-act play is one of the three finalists to be performed and judged at the Doncaster Playhouse on Saturday 5th October.

This is the 14th year of the competition and is organized and sponsored by the Kew Courthouse Arts Association previously know as the Boroondara Theatre Company. I have managed second-places and a third place since 2005 so I’m hoping to finally crack a 1st place some time soon. Last year I won second -place with a play called ‘Michelangelo Wore Blundstones’.

If anyone is feeling a little lost after the GF and  live in the Doncaster area, you might like to consider de-footyising and watch a play. The web-site for details is

I am presently writing a football-themed play. Unfortunately it’s set in Toowoomba, Queensland so it’s about a rugby football club, similar to ‘The Club’ with the reluctant recruit, but this time he’s from the city going to a club in the bush. I’m hoping to incorporate and plagiarize a lot of the writing found on this web-site.

Now, back to footy. I wrote about five or six-hundred words this week in praise of Brendan McCartney. I pressed the wrong ‘send’ button and my waxed- lyrical piece disappeared into the ether.

So briefly, I had watched videos of Brendan McCartney speaking at the Rising Star Award and the Charles Sutton Medal Bulldog presentation night. He outlined the progress of the Bulldogs particularly after being defeated by the Gold Coast in the middle of the season. So he gave a positive outlook that the faithful wanted to hear, but he then tempered that optimism by reminding everyone that the Bulldogs missed the finals and finished fifteenth on the ladder. Of course he went on to say how he and his assistants were dedicated to improve next year.

Brendan McCartney was an impressive speaker at both functions and if anyone can access Bulldog TV via the Bulldogs’ website, it’s well worth a look. To see a coach speak at a function instead of just a press-conference, there is no comparison.


About Neil Anderson

Enjoys reading and writing about the Western Bulldogs. Instead of wondering if the second premiership will ever happen, he can now bask in the glory of the 2016 win.


  1. I watched the Rising Star speech after reading some good comments on it – it was a cracker. And good luck with your entry Neil!

  2. Yes Neil, very impressive McCartneys speech at the rising star, a breath of fresh air.Best of luck with the play….order one of those ‘bad luckNeil you did your best,’ cakes from plares, it brought you luck last time.

  3. Congrats Neil. I’ll try and get down there

  4. Neil Anderson says

    Thanks for the encouragement. The play-writing is a great outlet for me during the footy off-season which can be a fairly long one when you barrack for the Bulldogs.
    I like your idea of ordering the ‘bad-luck’ cake Cowshedend. Unfortunately the joke might be lost on the theatre people. Unlike most knackers, they can’t handle anything to do with footy as well as the ‘yarts’ as Sir Les Patterson would say.
    Perhaps it might become a case of mentioning ‘the cake’ as a form of good luck in the theatre instead of saying ‘break a leg’.

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good Luck Neil in Playwright Competition !
    Brendan McCartney is a Fantastic Speaker and have only heard senior AFL Guys speak Glowingly of Brendan both Privately and Publicly

  6. Best of luck Neil. From your Almanac posts I know that your play will be full of heart.
    You have put a whole new meaning on “taking the cake”. Best of luck.
    As in AFL anyone that makes the top 20% of competitors has succeeded in my view. Preliminary finalists are all winners, so congratulations on your achievement.

  7. Peter Fuller says

    My congratulations also, and good luck in the finals. I live at the other end of the Doncaster region, my back fence is the council boundary for Manningham. To my shame, since I always pretend to myself that I support local arts, I wasn’t even aware of the Doncaster Playhouse. I am a bit confused by the scheduling, or by my reading of the flyer. Is your play to be performed in the afternoon, or the evening? or is the evening just a presentation after the three finalists have had a performance over the three previous days?
    I’m confident I can attend at either time and I’m looking forward to seeing your work

  8. Neil Anderson says

    Thank you Peter and others for your interest. I still get surprised when someone does take an interest in playwriting. I live in a country town where local footy rules (as Almanackers we can’t knock that) but it’s unusual if someone want’s to know ‘”How’s the writin’ goin’ “?
    Just to clarify how the competition works Peter, there is usually about 50 scripts submitted and the judging panel select the best three which are performed at a later date. For amateur playwrights, being notified that your work is going to be performed after they audition actors etc is the real prize. There is a small prize money as well.
    So at 7.30pm on Saturday 5th October the three finalist plays will be performed and at the end of the night the winners will be announced as 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. The judges who first read the scripts will have made their decision earlier so that the certificates can be handed out. Final placings are based on the scripts rather than the performance.
    The Kew Courthouse website is a bit dicey and there’s never any money for publicity but they do a great job keeping the competition going over the years for aspiring writers. Not unlike what the Almanac provides.
    So there are four performances. October 3rd, 4th and two on Saturday 5th. I will be going on presentation night at 7.30 pm Saturday 5th October.
    The pressure’s always on six months after you send in a script and then rock up to see what they do with it. And with a couple of Almanackers saying they might be there…the pressure’s really on!

  9. Peter Fuller says

    Thanks for the clarification, Neil. I’ll attend the Saturday evening performance in view of your explanation.

  10. Andrew Starkie says

    good luck Neil. Or, break a leg?

  11. Neil Anderson says

    Thanks Andrew. I’ve been trying to work on an alternative to ‘break a leg’ to introduce into the theatre jargon. Always sounds a bit dramatic and dangerous to me. Might have to go with something to do with the famous ‘bad-luck’ cake that cowshedend and others keep reminding me about. Perhaps something like, ‘ Hope your cake is tasty tonight!”

  12. Peter Fuller says

    Can I just give this thread a bump. Neil’s play is on this week, and when I booked yesterday there seemed to be quite a lot of seats available for the Saturday evening performance, at least. Doncaster is less than 15 minutes from Hoddle Street, so it’s an opportunity for Knackers living within striking distance to support one of our own, and support local theatre also.
    Neil’s @ 9.32, 15th September has the details of performances, and the original post has the link for bookings.

  13. Neil Anderson says

    Thanks for the bump Peter. Because it is the theatre-company running the show after the scripts are submitted and judged, I have no idea how the bookings are going let alone auditions, rehearsals etc.
    They did send me a copy of a publicity article from the Melbourne Observer, Sept. 25th edition which had a photo of rehearsals of my play and with quite a good write-up. If you can find a copy of that magazine I would appreciate it Peter.
    The only other advertising which they get for free is in the Theatrecraft magazine which is produced monthly by the Victorian Drama League.
    Lucky they scheduled the plays one week after the GF or the numbers would have been a lot worse. They used to line up performers from stage-shows etc to present the prizes which was a bit of a draw-card. One year a kid from the Billy Elliot musical presented the prizes.
    Thanks again for the plug Peter and will see you on Saturday.

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