Football

YNWA – The Official History Of Liverpool Football Club – Gaiety Theatre – Review

YNWA-medium

I was quite worried going to the Gaiety tonight. It was with fear and slight trepidation that I went  along to see ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone – The Official History of Livepool Football Club’. You see, I love football and I love theatre, but they occupy very different parts of my brain. There is something so immediate and visceral about seeing a football belted into the back of the net, it either affects you or it doesn’t. It gets you deep down inside or it leaves you completely unmoved. Writing a play to capture the excitement of football, well it’s quite a challenge.

Actually, it isn’t that complicated at all. There’s a deep history to a club such as Liverpool, so many big characters, great nights, and so much passion. All they had to do was capture even part of that, and their job was done.  The play starts with four members of a family scattering their grandfather’s ashes at Anfield. Their grandfather’s one true passion was Liverpool, and when they return to the pub afterwards, the history lesson begins. We are told about the achievements of the club, the great players and coaches through song, stories and jokes, with the screen at the back of the stage projecting images of the events. The play is a full history, starting with their foundation in 1892 and moving through the different decades.

Would I recommend it for people who are not fans of Liverpool? God no, I can’t imagine anything worse than going to a similar piece about Manchester United or Chelsea. This is for a partisan crowd who want to remember the many highs and lows of being a football fan. If you can remember where you were when Steven Gerrard scored the first goal in ‘The Miracle of Instanbul’ or Bruce Grobbelaar’s spaghetti legs from ’84 then this is for you! Equally there are poignant pieces about the Heysel stadium disaster and Hillsborough, capturing the human aspects of the tragedies. The piece ends with a moving rendition of the world’s greatest football anthem ‘You’ll never walk alone’ and there was hardly a dry eye left in the house.

YNWA – The Official History of Liverpool Football club – Runs April 2nd to 12th at the Gaiety Theatre.

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