This show returns to London in 2015, following a run at Jermyn Street theatre in 2014.
Saturday afternoon and Kyle is on the terraces, shouting down the away side’s goalscorer. Saturday night and, after a phone call from his pimp, he’s going down on the same man.
Arriving under two months after ‘The Pass’, John Donnelly’s Royal Court hit about a gay footballer, might have nutmegged Rob Ward and Martin Jameson’s look at the same subject, but the truth is that they’re leagues apart.
There’s a soap opera quality – a ‘Roy of the Rovers’ improbability – to this one-man show, largely because it’s overloaded with plot, much of it generic and plenty of it improbable. The unnamed footballer transfers into town – to play for the local rivals – and tries to secure Kyle’s services exclusively, while swanning about VIP areas with one Wag or another. Less than six months later, after several crises and a serious car accident, he’s transferred on again.
Because the footballer remains offstage – great pains being taken to avoid any resemblance to potential real counterparts – the intricacies of his conundrum go unexplored. Instead, Ward and Jameson show us the consequences of his closetedness, while suggesting that Kyle’s aggressive outness – he uses his line of work to provoke his homophobic father – can be just as selfish.
Ward plays Kyle himself with plenty of attack and a roguish charm, but there’s a naivety to Jameson’s production, which seems terrified of risking theatricality. Rather than just bunging Kyle on a stage to tell us his story, he’s stuck in his flat, pottering around and awkwardly addressing an invisible, silent partner. Not only does it clash with the multi-role, all-the-accents performance mode, it leaves the whole thing a bit limp.
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Same as other reviewers I'd also say: ignore the "very disappointing and ill considered review from Matt Trueman" ! The plot is simple but the performance is extraordinary. Read the other reviews indeed, the play is absolutely worth seeing and Rob Ward is brilliant!
A very disappointing and ill considered review from Matt Trueman which I strongly recommend Time Out readers ignore. Please don't miss the opportunity to see a truly challenging piece of theatre co written by Martin Jameson and Rob Ward. Martin Jameson's direction enables Rob Ward to give a bravura performance. Read the reviews below - they say it all!
This is an exceptional piece of theatre, truly deserving of the 5 star reviews others have given, and of its 2 Manchester Theatre Awards for Best New Play and Best Fringe Performance. Rob Ward gives an astonishing performance, which is fearless, energetic and totally convincing, as well as being deeply moving. You often forget there is just one person up on the stage as he switches characters in a heartbeat.
Martin Jameson's considered and polished direction immerses you in Kyle's world and, far from being stuck in the flat, transports you to football terraces, bars, hotel rooms, cars and beds, with ingenious use of props and furniture.
The actual subject matter is important, and while Kyle's profession may show a side of the gay world that people would rather pretend doesn't exist, it also shows aspects of the human condition in all its confused glory. It presents a very real, totally engaging and absolutely relevant look at not only homophobia in football, but the impact of relationships, friendships and family influence on even the most confident individual.
If you want exciting and passionate theatre, ‘Away from Home’ is a must. It is fast, energetic and hard-hitting at times, yet thoughtful and challenging throughout.
In dealing with his father’s disappointment about his sexuality, Kyle is also concerned about how his friends might react if they knew about his job as male escort. When Kyle is hired by a top professional footballer, they fall in love; but the relationship is not to be open and equal.
The play is riddled with the fall-out of prejudice and taboo….and raises issues about homophobia in the world of football.
The one-man show has the brilliant Rob Ward weaving a range of colourful characters into his story; he whisks us into Mum’s kitchen, swanky nightclubs and steamy bedrooms; he shares his hopes and fears (and even a bit of shagging) with his audience.
I felt was let into one man’s confidence for the hour; and during that time I laughed, marvelled and felt a little sad…. The play addresses important issues and really ought to be seen to help open conversations that need to be had.