I wouldn’t have gone to see this play by John Donnelly at the Royal Court as it’s about football. Except it really isn’t.
It’s set around football and follows Jason and Ade. They are 17 year olds on the cusp of their football career and we see them again at the start of their middle age. In between we follow Jason becomes a successful and fabulously famous footballer who at 29 and with dodgy knees realises that nothing that happened in the preceding 12 years was meaningful.
It’s set in three hotel rooms that are each better appointed than the last to reflect Jason’s increasing success.
Russell Tovey as Jason was tremendous – he appeared to visibly age through the evening.
The play was a game of two halves. The first tramped along; dynamic, challenging, funny and tight. The second half less so – I don’t mean to diminish the second half. I simply wanted it to sparkle as much as the first.
What I liked was the way that during the course of the the play my sympathies moved from Jason to, the largely absent, Ade. In the end was left with the feeling that whilst Ade had not succeeded in the big league he had succeeded at life.