Northern Broadsides will bring its tour of Harold Brighouse’s northern comedy about love, honour, class … and football, The Game, to Liverpool in September.
The production arrives at the Liverpool Playhouse from 21-25 September and features Coronation Street star Wendi Peters.
Lancashire. 1913. Match Day! Blackton Rovers is in need of money. Owner, Austin Whitworth, sells his star centre forward – local football hero Jack Metherell – to a rival club on the eve of a crucial match that could see Rovers relegated to the 2nd Division. Will honest Jack do Austin’s bidding when asked to throw the match? Or will he put his professional honour above loyalty to his old club?
Austin’s daughter Elsie, and Jack, are in love – or so they think. But Jack still lives at home, firmly tied to his mother’s apron strings. Will Elsie’s modern ways and feisty temperament win over his domineering mam? Or is this tryst between the classes doomed from the start?
Director Barrie Rutter, a Hull City football fan, said: “April 2010 - My Team has left the Premier League - Relegated! What looms is a battle to avoid administration and a dismal start to a new Season in a lower League.
"April 1913 - Blackton Rovers are in danger of Relegation. Financial ruin for the club and its owner looms!
"What's new? The boots are lighter, fiscal mercenaries are in every team, soaring financial chicanery abounds and underhand deals are common, but the effect on families and supporters and the accompanying human dramas are as fresh today as they were in 1913: the difference is that footballers were working-class heroes who lived with their parents and travelled to the match on the corporation bus unlike many of today’s professional players.
"The Game is in true Brighouse style, warmly invoking an age where the burgeoning women’s voice is firmly articulated just as in "Hobson's Choice", and where portraits of a previous England have a comic, heart rending humanity. The play has been on my top shelf for a few years, awaiting its timely entrance. Autumn 2010 sees the kick-off.”