Black Swan State Theatre Company of Western Australia acknowledges the Whadjuk people of the Nyoongar Nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and live.

First Nations People have been telling stories on this country for many thousands of years, and we acknowledge their incredible contribution to the cultural and environmental landscape we reside in.


Hear from Pippa and Steve

Written by Black Swan State Theatre Company 9 April 2024 4 min
Pippa Grandison and Steve Le Marquand play Delveen and Doug Williams in Barracking for the Umpire, but their onstage chemistry is no fluke – the two are married in real life and have been together for 23 years!

They recently moved back to WA after forging successful careers on a national scale. Pippa has been in musicals such as Georgy Girl: The Seekers Musical, Into the Woods, and Muriel’s Wedding: The Musical and Steve has been in just about every major Australian TV series including films Last Train to Freo, Beneath Hill 60, Two Hands, Red Dog: True Blue, and the recently released film Christmas, just to name a few. How do they feel about Barracking’s return?
So glad you asked…

How does it feel to be reuniting the Williams family once more?

PIPPA: I’m thrilled to be reuniting with my gorgeous stage family and so excited to be playing in Barracking again. I’m really looking forward to taking it on the road and seeing some of the beautiful towns in WA, I’ve either not been to or haven’t visited for a very long time. I can’t wait to share it with a wider audience.

STEVE: We’re very excited to be doing a return season and subsequent tour of the show. It’s such a great play and an awesome cast – what’s not to love? Plus, we get to visit some amazing WA towns. 

As well as playing Doug and Delveen Williams in the play, you’re also married in real life! Have you worked together before and what is it like working with each other?

PIPPA: We have worked together quite a few times. Most recently in a TV series we shot for Stan up in Derby. Husband and wife in that too. Actually, the last four roles I have played have been alongside Steve as his wife. There’s a pattern forming, I think! I really love working with him though. He’s such a great actor and we have a comfortability with each other that makes it easy. We trust each other. I can sometimes get anxious when I’m acting, but with Steve there I feel safe.

STEVE: This is about the fourth time in five years that we’ve played husband and wife. It seems that since we’ve moved back to WA we’ve been signed up as a double package deal! It makes portraying a married couple a lot easier when you bring the full 23 years of shared history onto the stage or on set. And we feel comfortable with each other.

You have both had hugely successful careers both in theatre and TV. You have recently moved back to Perth from Sydney. What has brought you back to the West?

PIPPA: We decided as a family that it was time for a change. My family are in Perth, and we had the opportunity to move to WA and have a little bit of land, which we have always wanted, so we sold up in Terrigal NSW and made the big move over. These days you can self-test from anywhere, so we can live on and run our lovely property down in Lake Clifton and work when the right roles come along. We’re really lucky.

STEVE: The hot weather!

The play explores some very topical themes, most prominently ‘blokes’ and their vulnerability, the fragility of the human body, and the impacts of brain injuries. Did you receive any audience feedback about the power of the piece?

BOTH: Yes, the subject matter is important and there was quite a bit of feedback after the shows in the 2022 season. Particularly when it came to the impact on the family. Many people were quite moved and wanted to let us know how they had related to the play.

Are you both footy fans?

PIPPA: I do like footy, but I’m not a die-hard fan like my character. I support the Dockers.

STEVE: I follow the NRL, but I will often watch the GWS Giants if they’re playing. Pip and I once played a celebrity charity game of AFL on the SCG in front of 30 000 people before a Swans vs. Dockers match. It gave us a good appreciation for the game, how fast it is and the fact it is played in 360 degrees.

For anyone who missed Barracking for the Umpire in 2022, why do you think people should come and see it?

PIPPA: People should come to see it because it is such a fantastic play. It’s a piece everyone can relate to in some way - even if footy isn’t their thing. Although deeply moving, it has moments of side-splitting humour which Andrea has crafted beautifully and woven into one family’s journey through an evening that will change their lives forever.

STEVE: I think it’s the kind of show that doesn’t feel overly theatrical. It just knuckles down and tells the story – the story of a family and footy. It touches on some very real issues.

Barracking for the Umpire will be playing home games at Subiaco Arts Centre from 23 April – 5 May, before kicking off on a regional tour!