Fringe Theatre Gets Back in the GameDate: 14 August 2010
Sport and theatre haven't always gone hand in hand, but this year's Fringe has proved the relationship still has a chance.
With two boxing-based plays winning Fringe Firsts yesterday (Beautiful Burnout and Bare), and a proliferation of other shows on sporting matters, there's a noticeable rise in the number of dramatists using sport as metaphor.
But several themes were prevalent in all of them – not least, the effect of professional sport on personal relationships.
The hero of Touching the Blue, a has-been hard-drinking snooker pro modelled on Alex Higgins, laments that his early dedication to the cue came at the cost of his emotional development.
In Pedal Pusher, legendary German cyclist Jan Ullrich tells us he may have reached the pinnacle of his sport, but has “something missing” when it comes to women. And even Two Brothers, which centres on fans rather than participants, makes clear links between the heightened emotions involved with following sport and those of a long-term relationship.
With the stream of recent sex scandals involving sportsmen, it's no surprise that dramatists are taking a closer look at why these gladiators of our age can display such levels of control and focus in the field of play, but such failings away from it. And I predict the next 12 months will see a sharp rise in the number of major stages playing host to sporting sagas. Tiger Woods the Musical, anyone?
- Theo Bosanquet
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