Friday 24 June 2005
A Fans' Club hits the big stage
After the success last year A Fans' Club - inspired by the formation of AFC Wimbledon - is coming back to the New Wimbledon Theatre. This time it will be on performed on the main stage on Friday 8 July.
The play is written by life-long Wimbledon fan Matthew Couper and is accompanied by excellent original music by fellow South Londoner Chris Barlow.
The show has been re-written over the last year to try and reach new audiences; Matthew explains "what happened to us, the Wimbledon fans was appalling and it now seems to be symptomatic of what is going on in football. It's less and less the people's game and more and more a business venture, where the fans are treated as a side show. What's great about the Wimbledon fans is that we said, 'no more, we'd rather play non-league than be treated this way'. For the play to help spread the word, it really needs to be more about the fans and what we went through personally. Everyone made sacrifices."
Although the show has been re-written, Matthew says that it is still about AFC Wimbledon. In fact the play contains actual words from the letter sent by Koppel informing the fans of his intentions to move the club, and from the commission report. Matthew says "when you have a look now at the commissions report it seems ridiculous that they allowed this move to happen. Having their words spoken on stage will emphasise just how ridiculous the arguments were".
Rehearsals for the show are now well under way and the actors seem excited about being of the venture. "I have spoken with the director a few times" says Matthew "and she tells me that they are really enthusiastic about being part of this project. I am also exited that we have just a great cast, which includes former Eastenders regular Mark Homer"
Along with Mark, the cast includes Roger Woods who was part of Code Red, a band who had a platinum selling CD in the UK 5 years ago.
Matthew says "It?s really important that we have some great singers in the cast, because the music is so important. I am delighted to still be working with Chris Barlow who has composed the music for the show - it really is fantastic and should get everyone off their seats"
As well as a great cast the show will also be attracting a great audience, with former Dons coming along to see the show. Matthew won't reveal who but says "watch out for some big names from the past".
The New Wimbledon Theatre is also expecting a big crowd and has asked fans to get their tickets early. You can do this online here or by phoning 0870 060 6646
One final word from Matthew "I want this to be a real celebration, so come along in colours and support the play. I hope this will be the launch for another wonderful season for the Dons".
Roger Woods, Beth Medley and Mark Homer.