Finding Murdoch
A Play By Margot McRae

Finding Murdoch by Landmark Productions Q TheatreReal New Zealand Festival

“Quintessential portrait of Kiwi bloke-hood. The legend and enigma of sacked All Black is beautifully captured on stage.” NZ Herald

“An engrossing and very theatrical piece of theatre” Dominion Post Wellington

“Definitely a winner…a quintessential New Zealand story - The real human interest story is gripping….it’s almost a romance. Definitely a hit.” Capital Times

“A memorable play of paradoxes.” TheatreView

“A dramatic rugby story brilliantly transposed to the stage.” Keith Quinn

“Terrific, a must-see for rugby fans.” Murray Deaker

‘Finding Murdoch’ examines the relationship between the media and the cult of celebrity is coming to Auckland’s newest and most glamorous theatre during the Rugby World Cup.

It’s an engrossing, funny and moving account of how far a reporter will go to get a story.

The play follows the story of a woman reporter’s hunt for Keith Murdoch, the only man to be expelled from the All Blacks. He was kicked out of the team for punching a Welsh security guard in Britain in 1972.

He was labelled the mystery man of rugby when he disappeared on his way home from Britain and has lived in obscurity in outback Australia ever since. The incident is still seen as New Zealand’s greatest rugby tragedy and Murdoch has entered this country’s folklore.

Through the reporter’s journey, the play traces the lead-up to the incident and the media storm that surrounded Murdoch.

Playwright Margot McRae, who tracked down Keith Murdoch for a television programme in 1990, has interwoven Murdoch’s true story with a fictionalised account of her search for him.

In ‘Finding Murdoch’ two opposing forces collide. The television industry with its endless appetite for heroes comes up against staunch rugby tradition. The battle between these two giants is distilled to that of a courtship dance between a female reporter and an All Black.

Set in 1990, the pioneering days of the independent television industry, the play examines the power of the media, the right of privacy and integrity.

Many of his team-mates and sports commentators are convinced he was harshly treated, but Murdoch has never spoken publicly about the incident.

The story is told through the eyes of a woman journalist who goes searching for him 20 years later for a television programme.

Through her journey, the play traces the lead-up to the incident and the media storm that surrounded Murdoch.

The play brings to the stage the explosive lead-up to the only All Black/Welsh test of the tour, Murdoch’s storming try and the hysterical Welsh reaction to the loss.

It examines the myths and half-truths that have dogged Murdoch and the incident at the Angel Hotel in Cardiff and lays bare his team-mates feelings of regret.

Veteran broadcaster and writer Keith Quinn said in Rugby News: “Put simply, the play is a dramatic rugby story brilliantly transposed onto the stage. It is rugby people who ought to go and see this play. If only to understand more about one of the most sensational of all All Black rugby stories…. a must for rugby people to see.”