After a slow day at work, nothing is better to liven up the grey matter and inject a bit of life into the commuter corpse than a good one-man play. Even better than that, is two one-man plays back to back.
I must admit, I was a bit dubious. Football is not a passion of mine. I just refuse to support a cult that is paying millions of pounds to people who kick a pig’s bladder around a patch of grass and, occasionally, to liven things up, bite an ear or two. But that is by the by. I was to be very presently surprised.
The first play ‘Only on Sundays’, written by Joe White and performed by Matt Jessup, followed the story of a young man, Dan, troubled by the secret feelings for one of the lads at his local football club. We watch the bittersweet story unfold as his secret world collides with reality. He must choose between the society-sculpted role of the heterosexual modern man or live freely as person who has found love where he least expects it.
The beauty about this story is your own confusion of not knowing when to laugh or cry, which is particularly well executed by Jessup when Dan kisses the man he loves in front of a judgmental crowd of his football lads and through the jokes with which Joe White has peppered the script. A heartfelt, comic tale of unwelcome love.
At the interval I was concerned that a) I was enjoying jokes about football and b) the next Act would not be able to live up to mark.
Once again, I was pleasantly surprised. Misconduct written by Dom Riley and performed by Alexander Forsyth was a lively depiction of a tale behind thuggish behaviour at football matches. Hilarious depictions of El Tel, Mickey and Richie were beautifully sculpted through the acting. My only criticism would be that Forsyth needed to be more familiar with the fast-paced story-telling to allow himself enough time for smoother transitions in-between characters. However, overall it was a very touching, gritty and moving piece.
As it turns out, I quite like football.
Where: Waterloo East Theatre
Price: £10 (£8 concessions)
More info: www.waterlooeast.co.uk