This play has no catharsis, no meaning and no ideological sense to it. Further more, it reflects on violence by beating everyone up. It defies almost everything my mother said to me when I was three.
FootBallistic takes place in the closing minutes of a match against Chelsea and Manchester United. No goals have been scored, the crowd are on the edge of their seats with broken bottles in their hands. If you don’t know what happens next, you have lost your inner child. No prizes for those who guessed a riot, but what a brilliant riot it is. To add some subtlety to the stories, a referee and a mascot have been added, surrounded by angry fans, a guy trying to get back to his girlfriend with all his beer, two rival commentators, a psychopath seeking his right of passage and a token Australian with a bleeding nose.
One of the easiest ways to demonstrate violence is to beat the living hell out of one another, which is precisely what this play does. Allan Henry’s choreography is phenomenal and I promise you that you will clap and roar as the actors run the walls, jump off another and smash each other into the wall. Someone give Allan a medal. My personal favourite is when Mickey, the psychopath played by David Hoskins, literally steps up onto Bear, the big man played by Fraser McLeod, and smashes his face in. I can’t forget when the referee, played by Allan himself, fights off an armada of hooligans with a little help from the team mascot. And when Jodie Hillock and Alix Bushnell have such a sexy catfight and when the commentators scrap it out, when the sticks are brought to the fight by the medics and hooligans. Oh, how could I forget when the fight takes a transformers inspiration as well as a mortal combat fatality fascination.
Also when Jodie whacks a chair into the well deserved Martyn Wood’s back and when SWAT breaks into the riot and… oh wait… I’ve just wrote down all the scenes in the entire play. Sorry about that.
As sound designer, Emile de la Ray plays a huge part in making the violence come alive. Not only would you feel the bass cause a riot in your baggy jeans but also at times gives the violence a charisma only cheesy noises can.
The stories have no emotional depth or importance to society, but seriously, who gives a damn? This play is not at all about social impact, it is all about violence. Well, just the fun side of it anyway. I really do love this play as it is just downright dirty cheap fun via violence, enough for a boy’s night out.
Fight Choreography by Allan Henry
Stories by Dean Hewison, Ben Powdrell & Allan Henry
September 11-15 at BATS