Away From Home

Rob Ward and Martin Jameson

Hartshorn - Hook Productions & Working Progress Theatre

Assembly George Square Theatre

From 31 July 2014 to 25 August 2014

Rating: ****

Review by Liam Blain

One man. One hour. One compelling and very current story. Away From Home takes the stark reality of a hard-hitting issue and creates a thought-provoking piece of theatre where football and homosexuality stand side by side.

First performed at the 24:7 Theatre Festival in the summer of last year, Away From Home tells the story of Kyle, a football fanatic and male escort who falls in love with a professional footballer.

In an industry where homosexuality is a taboo concept, being a gay guy linked to a footballer quickly becomes as secretive as being a dealer to the mafia. Therefore, Kyle must battle his feelings, his emotions and his morals to keep his relationship strong and this new found type of love alive.

The whole piece is performed as a one-man show by co-writer Rob Ward who stages a flawless and captivating performance as the troubled Kyle. This is especially true when talking to other characters, or in some cases when he becomes the other characters in order to respond in conversations.

Martin Jameson’s combination of direction and set design is extremely minimalist in its use of a sofa bed, table and breakfast bar to neatly add a sense of metaphorical setting to the production without taking away the important moral issues from the piece. Ward’s movement around the playing area is extremely impressive, as he depicts sex scenes, acts out a car crash and is still able to come across as relatable to the audience.

At times, the writing can be seen to be slightly contrived and stale, especially in the football scenes, where Ward is playing the slightly more “lad” side to his character. However, that said the piece stands superbly as an interesting and well performed production.

There is still not an openly gay footballer playing professionally in the world, however productions like this prove that we are getting closer to equality in all sports and for all people around the world.