The Complete History of World Rugby (abridged)

Daffodil Lawn, Botanic Gardens, Christchurch

09/02/2011 - 27/02/2011

Production Details

“It’s 2011, the biggest year in the History of New Zealand Rugby, and combine that with the greatest achievements in World Rugby then this would have to be one of the most long-awaited events in the History of the World.” – The Outwit’s slightly different view of the Rugby World

They are back, they are bigger and fitter than ever and they are raring to take the Rugby World by storm. They are the newest hopefuls to don an All Blacks jumper!?! 

OUTWITS, Greg Cooper, Andie Spargo and Jared Corbin romp with pomp through the annals of the history of World Rugby – tackling its great moments, achievements, players, coaches, officials and tragedies. 

Written by Cooper and Corbin, with the added skills of Spargo, the calamities and the climaxes presented in the time provided to get the entire History of World Rugby tied up will leave the audience spellbound and hysterical!

Pack a picnic, sprawl out on your rug and be prepared to be entertained. This Anthony Harper Lawyers’ Summer Theatre series is a must to watch this summer! 

Daffodil Lawn, Botanic Gardens
9 – 27 February
7.00pm Tuesday – Sunday
2.00pm Matinees Saturday & Sunday
No performances Monday.
Cancelled if wet

Greg Cooper
Andie Spargo 

Exhilarating Madness

Review by Lindsay Clark 10th Feb 2011

That time of year again for rug-and-picnic audiences to set up in the gentle outdoors of Hagley Park for another round of Summer Times Theatre. This year’s production from the Outwits has a narrower range than some, with a bloke-ish slant to the humour, as might be expected from the rugby focus. (Expect lots of ball gags and a good deal of wind). There is no shortage of laughs though as three brave fellows (and their referee) romp through a very slick production well buffed up by directors Hadlow and Cooper.

In a disarming warm up, the trio outlines the common ground between ‘luvvies’ in the world of theatre  and those who live for the game, before they launch into an account of its early history, performed at a reckless pace and with the energised lunacy we have come to expect and applaud.

Before we can blink we are witnessing Shakespeare’s great tragic account of Mac Ellis which morphs into a presentation à la Richard Attenborough of the ‘wild and evolving creatures’ making up the international rugby scene, Puma, Wallaby, Springbok et al.

Even the ‘account ‘ of the 1981 tour provides this lot with fodder for invention and laughs (some) until they wind up the first half with a demonstration of rugby terms performed as ballet, tutus and all. The material is wacky, tacky and delivered with such boisterous cheerfulness that it is impossible not to be entertained as the second half ‘considers’ the rise of professionalism and celebrates the ‘grass roots’ approach, slicked up with the mock heroics they do so well. A high point of this half has to be their wonderful rap explanation of the rugby breakdown. Wow!

Gregory Cooper, Jared Corbin and Andie Spargo are vastly talented and experienced in this genre. Their engaging antics are complemented by a sound production team with music from Hamish Oliver, costumes by Annie Graham, props by Caroline Trevella and a neat set from Harold Moot. Fiona Bennetts operates while Rikki Cosgrove is credited with general backstage versatility and appears periodically as referee.

All up, this latest history, in a year when we can  expect to be part of the national audience for the World Cup, brings a whiff of  exhilarating madness we may well look back on as light relief.  
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