HOW STEEPLE SINDERBY WANDERERS WON THE FA CUP
by J L Carr adapted by Paul Hodson.
Tour to 12 February 2012.
Runs 1hr 30min One interval.
Review: Alan Geary: 19 January at Lakeside Arts Nottingham.
Well up to New Perspectives’ usual standard.
J L Carr, from whose novel this one-man play is adapted, could be England’s best kept literary secret of the second half of the twentieth century. But this highly engaging piece might give you a taste for his work if you haven’t already got one.
How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup has all the hallmarks of Carr. There’s the fond and deep Englishness – the only just exaggerated place name; and the surnames too: Fangfoss, Slingsby and so on, most of which themselves sound like out of the way Lincolnshire villages.
Adapter/Director Paul Hodson also manages to retain those other telltale Carr features: the touching combination of comedy and pathos, the vanished innocence, the bitter-sweetness of unfulfilled love.
Nottingham Playhouse regular Mark Jardine (Garage Band, Forever Young and The League of Youth) is narrator Joe Gidner – he’s found himself in Steeple Sinderby following an unspecified spot of trouble at his theological college. He also has problems with his mother. But Jardine also does a good job in all the other roles. With naught to help him except an acting stage bare but for a flat fenland field and a pair of stylised goalposts he brings the whole David and Goliath tale to life.
The fifties are brought to life as well with an embarrassingly apposite choice of background sound, including ‘The Teddy Bears’ Picnic’ and other wireless favourites of the period.
This is a New Perspectives Theatre Company production; and it’s up to their usual standard.
Joe Gidner: Mark Jardine.
Director: Paul Hodson.