God’s Official, Theatre Review. Unity Theatre, Liverpool.
Cast: John McGrellis, Derek Barr, David Kennedy Jones.
God’s Official, the new production at the Unity Theatre, highlights for every fan the moment in the dead of night when the footballing gods have deserted the team you support, the sheer insanity and depraved lengths you would go to save them from sporting ignominy.
Written by Robert Farquhar, God’s Official takes a long hard look at how one moment in a football match, as in life can change your whole outlook and perspective. Using virtually the entire space of the Unity One the only props are three chairs, which during the course of the evening get shuffled round and abused in a similar way to the three men on the stage. The play presents the audience with three men, two fans of a relegated team and the official, the referee who allowed a goal to stand and which allowed the team of choice to be relegated.
As the chanting dies down, Derek Barr as Degsy is heard shouting over and over again, “It wasn’t a goal.” As with all good relegation scraps, it seems to take revenge for the perceived injustice involves breaking into the referee’s home and kidnapping him, taking him to your radically minimalist styled home and making him watch, over and over again, the last three minutes of the match till he finally cracks and admits his mistake.
The three men on stage were able beyond measure to keep up the pace that was demanded of them by Robert Farquhar’s tightly written and absorbing script. John McGrellis as Degsy’s mate, Cliff, showed the audience that the demands of physical and entertaining theatre are there and require an abundance of energy and fortitude that sometimes is forgotten by lesser actors.
An entertaining and well thought out play that reveals bit by tremendous bit how humanity is only really just holding on to its grip on the real world. An astonishing use of 95 minutes which proves that life, it seems like football, is a game of two halves and both it seems are as enjoyably loopy and complex as each other.
Ian D. Hall