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 The Theatreguide.London Review

Jumpers For Goalposts
Bush Theatre  Winter 2013-2014

Like his earlier play The Kitchen Sink, seen at the Bush in 2011, Tom Wells's new offering is a gentle comedy about some of life's losers who manage to find their way to modest degrees of happiness by the end, its strongest virtue being that we care, cheer them along and wish them well. 

We're in the dressing room of a hapless team of amateurs in a local pub league of five-a-side football. They're absolute crap at the game, but as we follow them through the six-week season we get caught up in their dream of rising to third place in the four-team league. 

But the real play lies in what's going on around the games. It happens that this side is made up of a lesbian, three gay guys and one token straight man, which is of no great moment except that the two youngest and shyest lads stumble their way toward a sweet little romance, much to everyone's approval, while a third is a would-be musician hoping to be selected to perform at an upcoming gay pride event. (The other two are in-laws sharing a bereavement they will work their way through over time.) 

Will the two shy kids get together? Will the singer find a song? Will the team ever win a game? These are not life-or-death issues, even to the characters, but it is Tom Wells's particular gift to be able to make them important enough, and the characters lovable enough, that we wish them all well and rejoice in their small victories over life. 

Much credit to director James Grieve, who hits and sustains exactly the right level, not trying to make too much of this small story, and to all five in the cast Vivienne Gibbs, Matt Sutton, Andy Rush and particularly, as the two youngest, Jamie Samuel and Philip Duguid-McQuillan.

Gerald Berkowitz

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Review -  Jumpers For Goalposts - Bush Theatre 2013

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