Thursday, 22 September 2016

The Game: A Northern comedy about love, honour and football performed at Southport's Little Theatre.

I had a grand night at the theatre. A Lancashire play was performed in Southport. Although The Game was written over 100 years ago its themes are still ones that exercise us today.

This is a play about football set in a northern town. The cast includes a corrupt club owner, a would-be WAG a pompous solicitor from London and a footballer who lives a terraced house with no hot water (that final bit doesn't have any relevance today).

I was the guest of the SDC and their chair Jan Hale along with many of the Little Theatre's partners. Southport is fortunate to have such an excellent facility as The Little Theatre.

Michelle Martin directed the play and produced a funny, entertaining and thought provoking evening.

I had the pleasure of meeting the cast and crew on stage after the curtain came down which allowed me to congratulate them in person.

I have always liked the plays produced by the Lancashire playwrights and I am delighted that there appears to be a revival of them. Everyone has heard of Hobson's Choice and the David Lean film with John Mills (If you haven't then you should certainly track it down).  That play is on in the West End at present with Martin Shaw -TV's Judge Deed and George Gently- as Hobson. Some while ago I saw a production of Zak another play by Brighouse at The Everyman. Another of the group, Stanley Houghton, wrote Hindle's Wake- a TV version directed by Lawrence Olivier is still available on DVD and is one of the great feminist plays of the era.   This play was revived by the excellent professional company Northern Broadsides . Their founder/director Barrie Rutter couldn't find a copy of the script when he wanted to put it on to co-inside with World Cup and eventually tracked down a copy to a university library in Canada. We should all be grateful to him because this is a real gem of a Lancashire play.

There are still a couple of performances left and I would urge you to go. You will have a thoroughly enjoyable evening and come away not only smiling but also with some important things to think about..

As I left the stage one of the cast Stan Hagan reminded me to put out my grey wheelie bin. Now I call that right neighbourly

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