St Albans theatre group take an irreverent look at five-a-side football

Jumpers for Goalposts

Jumpers for Goalposts - Credit: Archant

With the Euro football championships looming, the Company of Ten are looking at the comic side of football with their next production, Jumpers For Goalposts.

Jumpers for Goalposts

Jumpers for Goalposts - Credit: Archant

Written by Tom Wells, it looks at the ups and downs of an incompetent five-a-side football team known as Barely Athletic.

The play, which opens at the Abbey Theatre Studio in St Albans next Friday, June 10, is set in a changing room, where, after losing matches, team members nurse their wounds to both body and pride.

Not only are they useless at football, the team are actually competing for the trophy in a gay, lesbian and transexual league, in Hull. Their only success has been beating Tranny United, but as the name suggests, the opposition played in stiletto heels.

Team captain, pub landlady Viv, has been turned out of the lesbian team for being too bossy. Her older sister has recently died, so, worried about her bereaved brother-in-law, Joe, she brings him on to the team to keep an eye on him.

Joe, played by Michael Llaniog, is a British Gas fitter, the token straight guy, and older than the other men.

The other three characters are all young, gay men. Beardy Geoff is a busker, who never takes off his crazy Peruvian knitted hat, Danny is on a sports training placement and fancies Luke, a gauche 19-year-old library worker, played by Daniel Bury.

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The love story is a counterpoint to the changing room banter and the team’s discussions about tactics, their strengths and many weaknesses, but there are also insights into their dreams, their work and their sex lives.

Director Yvonne Harding fell in love with the play when it was first performed at the Watford Theatre. She said: “Apart from the humour, the reason that, as an audience, we were responding so warmly, was in part because the language was so naturalistic. It is also, as might be expected from a football changing room, quite crude. Be prepared for quite a few Anglo Saxon words.”

Performances are at 8pm next Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11, and from Tuesday, June 14, to Saturday, June 18. There is also a matinee at 2.30pm on Sunday, June 12.

To book tickets click here or call the box office on 01727 857861.