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Theatre Review: Same Team--A Street Soccer Story ****

Michael Cox reviews a production 'with great heart and integrity'.

Same Team—A Street Soccer Story follows the established parameters of most sports stories: a ragtag group with little in common manage to overcome adversity and differences to go the distance. For this, five women from different backgrounds band together to represent Scotland at the Homeless World Cup. Will they come together—and if they do, how far will they go?

What greatly impresses isn’t necessarily the ‘what’ but the ‘how’, because while Same Team might follow a well-established plot path, it does so with great heart and integrity. Writers Robbie Gordon and Jack Nurse worked with the Dundee Change Centre, resulting in a play filled with characters who speak and act in believable ways. There is always a ring of truth in the events and the conversations: it takes the lives of the women seriously but always has a sense of humour and playfulness.

Cast members Kim Allan, Hannah Jarrett-Scott, Louise Ludgate, Hiftu Quasem and Chloe-Ann Tylor are equally brilliant: individually and as an ensemble. Playing the members of the team as well as the people in their personal lives, the ensemble embrace the theatricality of playing multiple rolls yet discover moments of tenderness and vulnerability.

Director Bryony Shanahan has staged an effective production that’s a complete winner. What’s presented might be a pipedream, but its highly entertaining and at times rousing.

Same Team—A Street Soccer Story performs at the Traverse until December 23, 2023.

Tags: theatre

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