Dancenorth are thrilled to be partnering with Queensland Theatre, debase Productions and Jute Theatre in presenting this uniquely Australian story and sharing it with Townsville audiences.
Sunday 4 October 2015 is a date indelibly etched into the memories of millions of Australians. It’s the date that an epic game of rugby league was played by two Queensland teams that goes down as one of the best in history. It’s the date that the North Queensland Cowboys changed their destiny and took extra time to do it. It’s the date that proved beyond any doubt, that rugby league is so much more than just a game.
In loungerooms, bars and sporting clubs, grassy fields and sheds across the country families watched this incredible game play out; repeatedly, the commentators gushed that it couldn’t have been scripted any better.
The Longest Minute is the story of how this game, and the teams that played, affect the lives of one family.
Written by Robert Kronk and Nadine McDonald-Dowd and directed by Bridget Boyle in her mainstage directorial debut for Queensland Theatre, the world premiere of The Longest Minute will take place in North Queensland, the home of the beloved North Queensland Cowboys on May 2, before opening in Brisbane at the Cremorne Theatre from May 26.
“Sport and theatre have so much in common and I love them both: their sense of drama and spectacle, of heroes and villains, and triumphs against the odds. The last few minutes of the 2015 NRL Grand Final is almost the perfect piece of storytelling,” said Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Sam Strong.
Director Bridget Boyle said it was an honour to direct a production that was so uniquely Australian. “This brand-new piece of theatre is for sports-loving people who think that theatre is not for them, and, it’s for the theatre-lovers who don’t follow sport. It’s a joyful, exuberant and deeply moving story for everyone,” she said.
The Longest Minute tells the story of a girl – Jessica Wright - who wants to make her dad, the Foley Shield legend Frank “Black Flash” Wright, proud and succeed in the male-dominated sport of Rugby League, set during the true story of the North Queensland Cowboys and their historic premiership victory in 2015.
When asked where the idea came from, Boyle said it was simple, “it was right there on the field”.
“The idea for this uniquely Queensland story was born on an unusually hot night in Sydney in October 2015, at the NRL Grand Final between the Cowboys and the Brisbane Broncos. I was there at the ground (disclaimer: I’m a diehard Cowboys supporter and I’ve basically helped create this show so that I might be able to meet Johnathan Thurston). Like so many, I was in the pits of despair when with one minute to go, it was the longest minute of my life. The Cowboys were going to lose the match when.... as the full-time siren sounded, a try was scored to even the game and send it into extra time.”
“There were more last-minute plot twists and suspense than any of the great plays I’ve read. And then, after 20 years of heartbreak, a Cowboys victory.”
“The Longest Minute is 80 minutes of high-energy theatricality that spans joyful highs and some tragic lows. With the high-profile success of Australian women in sport – from the AFLW to the giant-beating Matildas (women’s soccer team), the show is a timely story that celebrates the power of determination in the face of prejudice.”