AWAY FROM HOME BY ROB WARD & MARTIN JAMESON SPRING 2014 TOUR: “What happened to the last footballer in this country who actually came out? He ended up hanging from the roof of a Shoreditch lock-up!”
The UK, 2014, The Civil Partnership Act is ten years old, same sex marriage passes into law, it is a criminal offence to stir up hatred against people on grounds of their sexual orientation. After years of struggle the final stigmas have been removed. It is okay to be gay and being out isn’t an issue. And yet, homosexuality remains a taboo subject in English Football. Not one of Britain’s 5,000 professional players is openly gay. The national sport is way behind.
Just one week after the retired Aston Villa player Thomas Hitzlsperger reveals he is gay, theatre producers Working Progress Theatre Company and Hartshorn Hook Productions announce the tour and London run of Away From Home, a visceral new play that tackles the issue of homophobia in English Football.
Kyle is comfortable with his life as a male escort until the day he is hired by a premiership footballer, and finds himself falling in love. But can Kyle maintain a relationship with a closeted footballer in a country where not one pro player is out? Can he go on pretending that the homophobia endemic in the game is nothing to do with him? Does he know what a relationship means, when, for him, sex has only ever been a transaction? Can he ever tell his friends – and his family – the truth?
Away From Home premiered last summer when it was granted the great honour of opening The 24:7 Theatre Festival, Manchester’s annual new writing extravaganza. It is co-written by Rob Ward and Martin Jameson, whom, with three decades experience in theatre, TV and radio (Casualty, Emmerdale, Holby City and numerous dramas for BBC Radio 4), also directs. Ward, taking the part of Kyle, is a founder of Working Progress Theatre Company.
Playing to packed houses, garnering rave reviews and receiving standing ovations, Rob Ward won the Audience Award for Best Actor at 24:7 and the work took the North West Equity Vicky Allen Memorial Award for best production. It has also recently been nominated for three Manchester Theatre Awards – best new play, best fringe production and best fringe performance. The winners will be announced in March.
This production of Away From Home is supported by The Arts Council of Great Britain. On 8th February FC United Bury will host a special performance of scenes from the play followed by a discussion with fans on the issue of homophobia in football before a match day (For details contact firstname.lastname@example.org). FC United was formed in 2005 by Manchester United supporters opposed to American businessman Malcolm Glazer’s controversial takeover of the club.
AWAY FROM HOME BY ROB WARD & MARTIN JAMESON SPRING 2014 TOUR
THE LOWRY – SALFORD 30th Jan 20:00 1 Feb 17:00 and 21:00
0843 208 6000 £8 / £6 (concessions) http://www.thelowry.com
CUSTOMS HOUSE NEWCASTLE 13th February 7.45pm
0191 454 1234 £13.50 / £12.50 (friends)
MARTIN HARRIS CENTRE MANCHESTER 26th February 7.30pm
0161 275 8951 £5 / £3 (concs)
JERMYN STREET THEATRE LONDON 10th to 28th March 7pm
http://jermynstreettheatre.co.uk 0207 287 8951
£18 / £16 (concs)
CAST DONCASTER 29th March 7.45pm
01302 303959 £10 / £8 (concs)
THE HUB LEEDS 30th March 5pm
email@example.com “pay what you decide” after show
BOLTON OCTAGON 22nd to 23rd April 7.30pm
01204 52-661 £10 / £8 (concs)
NEW CONTINENTAL PRESTON 24th April 7.30pm
01772 499425 £7 / £5 (concs)
THE PIER WIGAN 28th April 7.30pm
£8 / £5(concs)
SOUTH HILL PARK BRACKNELL 2nd May
01344 484 123 £10 / £10 (concs)
DUBLIN GAY THEATRE FESTIVAL 5th May
00 353 87 9355 449
DERBY THEATRE 16th May TBC
01332 59 39 39 £10 / £8 (concs)
MARLBOROUGH THEATRE BRIGHTON 22nd to 26th May
01273 273870 £10 / £8 (concs)
FAUCONBERG ARMS COXWOLD N YORKS 29th May 7.30pm
01347 868214 £10 / £8 (concs)
YORK THEATRE ROYAL 30th and 31st May
01904 623568 £12 / £10 (concs)
HULL TRUCK 7th and 8th June 8pm
01482 323638 £10 / £8 (concs)
Thursday 16th January 2014