Skip to main content

Offside

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Three stars

For too long now, football has been perceived to be just a boy's game. This wasn't always the case, as this dynamic little play co-written by Sabrina Mahfouz and Hollie McNish makes clear. It opens in the boot room, where wannabe women's team players Mickey and Keeley are preparing to try out for the national squad. Both are determined to make the grade for very different but equally personal reasons. Both too have their distractions, but they also have their heroines guiding them on.

These come in the form of Carrie Boustead and Lily Parr. Back in 1881, Boustead was a Scottish woman of colour who kept goal for several teams. Flash forward to 1921, and Parr is a star player scoring goals in front of thousands. Both were pioneers, but with the outlawing of female football, they've been airbrushed out of history. As Caroline Bryant's production for the women-centred Futures Theatre flips between time-zones, Mickey and Keeley are gradually empowered enough to go for whatever goals are put in their way, be it a misogynist press, peer group pressure or bigger things besides.

With both of the play's writers from a performance poetry background, there's a sinewy physicality pulsing Mahfouz and McNish's words over the play's rapid-fire sixty-five minutes duration. These see Tanya-Loretta Dee as Mickey and Carrie, and Jessica Butcher as Keeley and Lily, move between interior monologues and heightened on-field exchanges. With Daphne Kouma multi-tasking like crazy as various commentators and coaches, the end result is part history lesson, part celebration of how far things have come. It also points to the work that still needs to be done by truly independent women, whatever the century.

The Herald, April 3rd 2017

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…