Halifax-based company, Northern Broadsides, is to revive Harold Brighouse’s football-themed The Game after nearly a century. The last recorded performance of the play was at Manchester’s Gaiety Theatre in 1915, but the new production will now open at the The Viaduct Theatre in Halifax this autumn before touring to Liverpool, Watford, Salisbury, Stoke, Huddersfield, Scarborough and York.

Set in Lancashire, 1913, The Game tells the story of Jack Metherell, star player for Blackton Rovers football club, who is traded to a rival team on the eve of a crucial match that could see the club relegated to the second division. Complications arise when Jack is asked by his former manager to throw the game.

According to director and co-star, Barrie Rutter, while the setting may be far from contemporary, the themes remain as relevant today as they were almost a century ago. “…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.”

Issues of class and gender are further explored through Jack’s relationship with the modern and feisty Elsie, his manager’s daughter. Says Rutter: “The Game is in true (Harold) Brighouse style, warmly invoking an age where the burgeoning women’s voice is firmly articulated…and where portraits of a previous England have a comic, heartrending humanity.”

The Game’s cast includes Wendi Peters, known for her role as Cilla Batterbsy-Brown in Coronation Street, Roy North and John Branwell. It will open at Halifax’s Viaduct Theatre on 16 September 2010 and then tour until 27 November 2010.

- Hannah Giles

For further details, contact the Viaduct Theatre Box Office on 01422 255 266 or www.deanclough.com