GAME ON

MADELEINE WEST TAKES US IN­SIDE THE GLAM­OROUS WORLD OF THE WAGS IN NEW TV DRAMA

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - SEANNA CRONIN

Be­hind ev­ery king is a king maker who paves the way for suc­cess. Ten’s new fe­male-led drama Play­ing For Keeps ex­plores what goes on off the field in the glam­orous world of Aussie rules, fol­low­ing the lives of the wives and girl­friends of high-pro­file coaches and play­ers.

“How won­der­ful to have a prime-time drama that is about women. I haven’t ex­pe­ri­enced such an in­clu­sive, fe­male­dom­i­nated cast since I did Sat­is­fac­tion some 11 years ago,” Madeleine West says dur­ing a visit to the show’s Mel­bourne set.

“This com­pletely goes against that no­tion that women are their own worst en­e­mies and that we’re re­ally out to claw each other’s eyes out. Girl­friends are all about their girl­friends and this show typ­i­fies that.

“What’s so de­li­cious about this world is they all come from dif­fer­ent back­grounds but what they have in com­mon is the love and sup­port and sac­ri­fice they make to sup­port their men who play this great game and the pres­sures that come with that.”

Play­ing For Keeps cen­tres on four women be­hind key fig­ures at the South­ern Jets Foot­ball Club.

West plays Kath, the wife of coach Brian Rickards (Jeremy Lind­say Tay­lor).

She’s joined by Olympia Valance as Tahlia Woods, an am­bi­tious so­cial climber and girl­friend of club cap­tain Con­nor Mar­rello, Cece Peters as Paige, a down-to-earth high school teacher who moves to the city to fol­low her high school sweet­heart, and An­nie May­nard as Maddy, a high-fly­ing lawyer and wife to sea­soned Jets player Travis Cochrane.

“It’s so de­light­ful when we first step into this world in episode one be­cause it is how the ob­jec­tive per­son would view the world of the WAGs – all glam­our, all gloss, money, money, money,” West says.

“We soon learn there are plenty of perks but there are some deep chasms of dis­ad­van­tage that come with be­ing un­der so much scru­tiny.

“Kath’s whole sense of self and her value sys­tem has been tied to be­ing the power be­hind the throne.

“In this first se­ries she is in the midst of a midlife cri­sis. She’s ques­tion­ing who she is and this role she’s as­signed her­self by choice as the coach’s wife, invit­ing these young boys into her home and play­ing a semi-mother fig­ure to them.

“She starts to won­der ‘if I’m so in­flu­en­tial and chart­ing the course for these young men, why can’t I have more power? Where’s my piece of the pie?’

“We very rarely see the woman in her 40s who isn’t just the go-to for ad­vice.

“She’s sex­ual and un­apolo­get­i­cally in­tel­li­gent and doesn’t have it all to­gether, but she’s full of love and tries her best.

“She doesn’t have to be a 20-year-old in­genue to be in­ter­est­ing.” Play­ing For Keeps pre­mieres on Septem­ber 19 at 8.30pm on Ten

IT IS HOW THE OB­JEC­TIVE PER­SON WOULD VIEW THE WORLD OF THE WAGS

An­nie May­nard, Madeleine West and Olympia Valance star in new Chan­nel Ten drama Play­ing For Keeps.

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