Marber is not writing just about football. The play is fundamentally about notions of masculinity as well as about modern society. The trio represents a kind of football holy trinity – all connected, and representing father, son and spirit. Which of the trio fulfils which role is not always clear, sometimes shifts, and this is perhaps the most interesting aspect of Marber’s play. Calvin Demba is adept at displaying Jordan’s naivety as well as his darker, more complex side. Peter Wight is compelling as the sad, lonely, committed club man, Yates, whose life is entirely centred on the game and The Red Lion.
Tamsin Greig is the lead performer here. She is perfect for the acting requirements. She has style, a sense of whimsical élan and a marvellous comic ability. She lands all the jokes and finds the true sense of despair which defines her character. But – Greig can’t give full measure and depth to the tunes she is asked to sing.