Theatre review: Result at the Pleasance

Result at the Pleasance Liam Steward George and Paul Adeyefa

Result at the Pleasance Liam Steward George and Paul Adeyefa - Credit: Archant

This smart set piece shoots just wide of the goal, says David Winskill.

The Clarke Boys’ Result kicks off with some of the foulest language I’ve heard on a stage, swiftly followed by some of the best choreography I’ve ever seen.

Played by Cameron Jack, with more than a nod to Ray Winstone, Carl is coach of a Premier League academy whose job is to produce winners. Carl is a hard man. A man of passion and that passion is the Beautiful Game. His language is a remorseless, warm bath of Anglo-Saxon profanities of such depth that one effing is qualified by another.

On the large Pleasance Astro-Turfed stage, we watch him put his lads through their paces. Very much the highlight of this 100 minute dip into the world of footy apprentices, the tight choreography and disciplined tableaux of climbing headers, sliding tackles and shooting for goal was breathtaking, beautiful and mesmerizingly fast.

Into Carl’s homophobic, sexist and borderline racist world comes Mark, the sports psychologist. Cardiganned, skinny, pale, he is the nerd’s nerd and knows little of football. He has a mission to... well, I’m not sure. He is mocked and marginalised by staff and apprentices. But he has stickability.

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This is a play of two halves (who didn’t see that coming?): the first is well paced and introduces the nascent characters for what could be an interesting examination of motivation, pressure and male insecurity. Sadly, half time seemed to take the momentum out of the production.

Golden boy Dave sustains a knee injury: will he regain his bottle and play again? Mark to the rescue: “Adjust your mindset... mind over matter... lose the fear”.

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Later we witness the bleak contract/exit interviews when the lads learn if they have made it. This could have been moment of real drama but we have the most superficial acquaintance with the squad and know them only as ciphers.

Brilliantly acted, directed and choreographed, Result was a set-piece move; a little over ambitious, that went too wide of the goal.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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