The Tom Wills Picture Show

Martin Flanagan

The Tom Wills Picture Show
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The Tom Wills Picture Show

Martin Flanagan

Martin Flanagan, journalist at the Age, has often written of the great Wonders of Australian Sport, his love of the AFL, of the importance of Aboriginal players in the highest echelons of Australian sport.

A few years ago he threw himself at the mysterious and distressed figure of Tom Wills - our early Colonial cricket celebrity, who put together the Aboriginal Cricket Team set for Great Britain in 1868 - and helped write the original Code for Australian Rules. A hero for several original clubs - Melbourne, Collingwood and Richmond for example. Yet things fall apart, as things have often done for our sporting stars…

So Flanagan went deeper: I dared myself to actually picture Tom Wills in the various situations I knew him to have been in during his life and backed my fancy. It was like entering a creative delirium. Pictures appeared before me which I wrote down in scenes. If I do the same thing in ten years' time, I may come up with a different story but I doubt that will happen. I doubt the energy that accompanied the writing of this treatment will ever return.

And so we have his TOM WILLS PICTURE SHOW, shedding light on a most complex character… 

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