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Sunshine Super Girl

Evonne Goolagong discovered a love of tennis as a young girl, hitting a ball against the tin wall of her family home. The girl from the bush who dared to dream landed on the most famous tennis courts in the world, winning Wimbledon at just 19 years, earning her rightful place on the perch as world number one. 

By Tierney Seccull

Sunshine Super Girl tells the heart-warming story of the Wiradjuri sporting legend, who had the support of a whole outback farming town behind her.

Andrea James penned the play, a Yorta Yorta/Gunaikurnai theatremaker whose work is revered for exploring connection to Country, adversity, and racism in Australia with heart and humour. She is also the play’s director, and says she was captivated by Evonne’s story.

“I was actually given Evonne’s autobiography for my birthday one year – because I’m a mad tennis nut and go to the Australian Open every year for my birthday – so I had this book and I just could not put it down, it was an absolute pager-turner,” she says.

“I thought that, we knew so much about Evonne, we knew so much about her public persona, but there was just so much drama behind-the-scenes. And just such beauty and struggle and positives in the story, I just knew theatre would be the perfect form for it.”

Sunshine Super girl is a tribute to a woman whose sporting prowess continues to inspire a nation, giving hope to thousands of young girls across the country. Hinting at the format of a female’s single tennis match of three sets, the play is delivered in three acts, representing important phases of Evonne’s life.

“There’s just this really lovely thing, that I think is so important to Evonne, is her connection to her Country and fishing – things that are a really important part of her that she yearned for so much,” Andrea says.

“I think that every Aboriginal person can really relate to that sense of connection, and how difficult and heartbreaking it can be when you have to be away from your home and family for so long. I think that was something that really struck me, the enormity of her cultural and family sacrifice to get to that place.”

With its distinctively Australian sensibility and humour, it asks us to consider our nation’s future. What part we can play for the next Goolagong waiting on the sidelines?

“She’s such a fantastic champion – our first Aboriginal women’s champion – and that’s just worth celebrating.”

Sunshine Super Girl 
WHEN FRI 12 AUG, 8PM | SAT 13 AUG, 1PM & 6.30PM
COST $25-$65

Thumbnail, header & inset image: Performing Lines

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