And The Big Men Fly (Arts Theatre) [Poster]

Brisbane Arts TheatreAnd The Big Men Fly (1980 Arts Theatre)

Lead actor in the Australian play AND THE BIG MEN FLY by Alan Hopgood from 12th of June to the 26th of July, 1980 at the Brisbane Arts Theatre, on Petrie Terrace.

Directed and designed by Paul Sherman.

Starring Toby Simkin as Achilles Jones (Acky).  I cannot recall the rest of the cast with who played the other characters…. J.J. Forbes, Wally Sloss, Lil, Harry Head, Wobbly Coates, TV Hostess and Les Williams.

And The Big Men Fly 

A young farmhand is asked to play barefoot with an Aussie Rules team… Achilles Jones is discovered on his lonely farm near Manangatang kicking wheatbags around, as it saves him dragging them. The talent scout of the Galahs, a struggling AFL football team, plucks him from obscurity and soon he is kicking footballs and rocketing the team to victory in the Grand Final. I was likely cast as Acky since I was the only one they could find that agreed to wear such tight, short, shorts, and since I had just finished a minor role as a footman at the same theatre in The Sleeping Prince.

And The Big Men Fly


And The Big Men Fly 1980 Arts Theatre Brisbane Press Theatre Australia listingARTS Theatre Brisbane interior ARTS Theatre Brisbane 2022 auditorium courtesy of Ray White ARTS Theatre Brisbane stalls interior ARTS Theatre Brisbane stalls from stage ARTS Theatre Brisbane 1998 interior ARTS Theatre Brisbane 2022 entrance courtesy of Ray White ARTS Theatre Brisbane 70s courtyard 2 ARTS Theatre Brisbane 70s courtyard ARTS Theatre Brisbane 70s exterior ARTS Theatre Brisbane 80s exterior ARTS Theatre Brisbane 2022 aerial courtesy of Ray White ARTS Theatre Brisbane exterior ARTS Theatre Brisbane exterior masks ARTS Theatre Brisbane Floorplan 2022

NOTE:  Sadly, long lost is the program, posters and show details which were destroyed in my NY office during 9/11.  Despite multiple requests over the past few years to the ARTS Theatre, and their staff (present & past), where their archives are held, no additional information has been provided.  The poster artwork is therefore a mockup from memory.

Did you Know?

And the Big Men Fly was written in 1963. Its primary subject is about the fictional Australian rules football team, the Crows. In 1963 the Melbourne Theatre Company had scheduled The Man Who Came to Dinner with Frank Thring and Alan Hopgood, which was expected to run for months at the Russell Street Theatre. However the play bombed unexpectedly and MTC director John Sumner needed a replacement. He asked Hopgood if he had any other plays, and Hopgood wrote And the Big Men Fly in a week. The play had its world premiere at Russell St Theatre in Melbourne in 1963. Hopgood himself played Forbes, while Dennis Miller played Jones.

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