Nowadays sport is often seen as spontaneous, expressive and vital; theatre as artificial and predictable. It is only relatively recently however that they have bifurcated into two opposing forms of leisure. For years, the term sport and drama implied a natural affinity, with constant reference made to the cliched 'World of Sport and Drama', creating an image of a fun-loving nation. This book looks not only at sport on the Australian stage and in Australian film since 1788, but also addresses the complex relationship between sport and drama and the way in which the re-enactment and celebration of sporting champions and events have contributed to myths of Australian nationhood, manliness and femininity, war and work. From the high days of sporting melodrama in the nineteenth century to contemporary films and plays such as Gallipoli, Coolangatta Gold and The Club by David Williamson, Sport in Australian Drama is a comprehensive and illuminating book which offers new insights into our understanding of the development of Australia's leisure culture. It gives us an intelligent and original view of Australian society, both past and present, at play.
"Sport in Australian Drama is a welcome addition to the growing list of books that view sport as a reliable source for understanding the complex problems and changing attitudes of society. Through his strikingly original approach, Fotheringham has presented a highly informative and insightful analysis of Australian leisure culture." American Journal of Sociology