DIARY OF A FOOTBALL NOBODY
by William Ivory based on the book Steak…Diana Ross: Diary of a Football Nobody by David McVay.
Nottingham Playhouse Wellington Circus NG1 5AF To 20 October 2012.
Tue-Sat 7.45pm except 11 Oct 7pm (Gala Performance) Mat 13 October 3pm, 18 October 1.30pm.
Audio-described 13 Oct 3pm, 17 Oct.
BSL Signed 19 Oct.
Captioned performance Thursday 18th October 7.45
Runs 2hr 5min One interval.
TICKETS: 0115 941 9419.
Review: Jen Mitchell 9 October.
David McVay’s funny footballing memoir is brought to life in this hilarious and life affirming piece of theatre.
Notts County fans in the audience will certainly appreciate the trip down memory lane, seeing their old heroes and re-living the highs – and lows – of the 73/74 season. But if football’s not your thing this play is about much more – love of family, home, the comfort of familiarity and some fantastic music from the seventies.
The diary charts McVay’s first season with County and his dilemmas about whether a career in professional football, given the fact he has 3 A Levels, is preferable to going to university.
The stark contrasts between football then and now are striking. The players share their bath following training and are grateful their wages match those of the factory foreman. McVay, like many others, supplemented his income – in his case with an egg-round. Ambitions were to save enough to buy a pub or corner shop after retirement.
Much of the play’s joy, and comedy, comes from these players being from Nottingham, living lives familiar to their fans and having cars that break down. McVay’s boss tells him, “You’re a footballer, get the bus!” Not a line heard in many clubs across the country now.
Matt Aston has a strong cast, ably headed by Perry Fitzpatrick’s McVay. He recounts events in his diary, talking to the audience with the familiar ease of a good friend, before stepping back into the action to play them out. His language is profane, his naivety boundless, a truly comic character brilliantly played. As is legendary County manager Jimmy Sirrell (Eric Richard), who, with his sometimes unintelligible Glaswegian, swearing and strange choice of clothes is responsible for some side-splitting moments.
Projections cleverly help create a sense of time and place. From local sights and sounds to comic-book style football heroes, we see a seventies montage played out, creating various Nottingham settings. The sounds of the seventies soundtrack round it all off beautifully and are in no small part responsible for the life-affirming, feel-good factor of the piece. The Nottingham audience clearly loved it but this play could resonate with audiences up and down the country; a premiership piece of theatre.
Grace/Alison: Sophia Di Martino.
David McVay: Perry Fitzpatrick.
Dave ‘Smithy’ Smith/Kevin Randall/Paul: Luke Gell.
Don Masson/Arthur ‘Archie’ Mann/Steve Carter: Rupert Hill.
Les Bradd/Martin: Christopher Hogben.
John ‘Billy’ Brindley/Barman: Brian Lonsdale.
Jack Wheeler/Grandad: Séamus O’Neill.
Jimmy Sirrell: Eric Richard.
Featuring the voice of Colin Slater and the hands of David McVay.
Director: Matt Aston.
Designer: Barney George.
Lighting: Mark Pritchard.
Sound: Damian Coldwell.
Movement: Dan O’Neill.
Video: William Simpson.