Jumpers for Goalposts by Tom Wells ›› Jumpers for Goalposts

a stage play directed by James Grieve.

from the pen of playwright Tom Wells.

2013 | 90 mins | UK.

starring: Philip Duguid-McQuillan / Luke, Vivienne Gibbs / Viv, Andy Rush / Geoff aka Beardy, Jamie Samuel / Danny, Matt Sutton / Joe and with the voice of Radio 5 Live's very own James Alexander Gordon as the Announcer.

Official Synopsis: "Barely Athletic are in Hull's gay football league, but is it a bit of fun for a Sunday morning, or a bloody-nosed battle to lift the winning trophy?"

Dave says:-

Fans of gay cinema may well be scratching their heads over this title, so let me explain. In that, this is not a gay film, at least not at the moment; rather it's a stage play that I recently had the pleasure to see. It has however all the makings of a film, being a beautifully played one-act production that lasted ninety minutes or so.

Indeed and in many ways, this well crafted piece reminds me of the quintessential feel-good Jonathan Harvey play / film Beautiful Thing, given both are proud to showcase the growing bond between two young men, as set in this instance against the backdrop of the spirited ups and downs of a five-aside football team and here envisage coach Danny more in love with the shy boy of the squad than the game itself, aided and abetted by the Cupid-like mindset of a busker hoping to be the next gay singing icon, all under the motivational direction of a lesbian too butch for the girls team and her "token straight" and still in mourning over the death of his wife, brother-in-law.

Boys in love in Jumpers for Goalposts.

Boys in love in Jumpers for Goalposts.

Yet amongst all of the laugh-out-loud liners to be had, together with an ever so sweet kissing scene between lover boys Danny and ever nervous librarian Luke as wonderfully played by Philip Duguid-McQuillan, Tom Wells, (winner of the 2012 George Devine Award for the Most Promising Playwright for his smash hit comedy The Kitchen Sink) notably takes time out to tackle some serious issues, including the emotional repercussions of gay bashing, let alone coming out HIV positive to the one you love and here cue Jamie Samuel's poignant portrayal of Danny. Credit also to Vivienne Gibbs and Matt Sutton who brilliantly bounce off each other as the in-law double act, with Gibbs' regional dialect so spot-on that at times the odd word or two was lost in translation, or should that be in Hull.

A man on a Cupid-like mission in Jumpers for Goalposts.

A man on a Cupid-like mission in Jumpers for Goalposts.

Disastrous on the playing field, having lost to "Lesbian Rovers," it's the off-pitch antics that score high, as Wells' delivers yet another winner, laced with humour, pathos and the apprehensive yearnings of love, let alone the simple truth that it's not the winning, but the taking part that counts. Complete with a number of musical sections, well sung by Andy Rush as busker Beardy and staged throughout in a remarkably solid and all too realistic changing room set, (all that was missing was thankfully the smell), this touching work on friendship is currently touring the UK and frankly it's worth checking out, guaranteed as it is to bring a smile to your face, a glow to your heart and perhaps a tear or two to your eye. And let's face it, outside of London, gay plays are all too seldom to be seen and even rarer, with this triumphant team spirit. All of which makes for a gloriously heart-warming production that if playing at a theatre near you, simply - go see; you'll love it.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 4 stars. 
promo for Jumpers for Goalposts with the original stage cast.
a Paines Plough, Watford Palace Theatre and Hull Truck Theatre production.
official website:
Copyright 2013 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #2013054
›› previous page | back to top | print me ‹‹
click for gay celluloid - home