REVIEW: Jumpers For Goalposts at the Stephen Joseph Theatre

Andy Rush as Geoff, Vivienne Gibbs as Viv and Jamie Samuel as Danny in Jumpers For Goalposts. Picture by Elyse Marks
Andy Rush as Geoff, Vivienne Gibbs as Viv and Jamie Samuel as Danny in Jumpers For Goalposts. Picture by Elyse Marks
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A team of loveable underdogs try their best in a Sunday five-a-side league in this touching comedy by Hull playwright Tom Wells.

Set entirely in the changing rooms after every game, the members of Barely Athletic gather for a spot of post match analysis and a bit of friendly banter.

Viv, the ultra-competitive lesbian pub landlady, is the head coach desperately wanting to win the top trophy she’s paid for, but hasn’t got the most talented team.

Assistant coach Danny is distracted by new signing Luke, an awkward librarian, who also secretly likes Danny.

Bobble-hat-wearing Beardy Geoff is more interested in flirting with members of the other teams and trying to find the perfect song to audition for Hull Price.

Completing the team is Joe, the ‘token straight’ member, who isn’t as fit as he used to be and has his own heartache to deal with.

Together they may not be great at football, but can they support each other enough as friends to at least not come last in the league?

There are laughs a-plenty throughout the whole show, but it doesn’t shy away from some hard-hitting issues, which are dealt with with real heart.

The five-strong cast pull off the distinctive ‘Ull’ accent perfectly.

Andy Rush as Geoff and Philip Duguid-McQuillan as Luke provide most of the laughs with two great comic performances, while James Samuel tugs at the heart-strings as unlucky Danny – but this is a real team game.

Jumpers For Goalposts is a very funny, sweet and genuinely uplifting play.

I think Barely Athletic will soon find plenty of new supporters.

Jumpers For Goalposts is in the half round at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, until Saturday, October 12, 7.45pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.45pm.