Steve Gilroy and Richard Stockwell's latest not quite living the Olympic dream
This article is from 2012.
Gold and silver are mere split seconds apart. Hair’s breadths. There’s just as little between Olympians and Paralympians: a ladder that slips; a bout of meningitis; an IED underfoot. Life may not be fair, but – as the London 2012 hopefuls and former medallists featured in Steve Gilroy and Richard Stockwell’s verbatim piece demonstrate – it is what you make of it.
Certainly, The Prize gives a real flavour of the thrill of competition and the sacrifice of training, but there’s little here that you can’t get from BBC coverage. An elegant and fluid staging keeps it above Creature Comforts and different speakers are really well juxtaposed, but there’s too little overarching structure for any sort of contention. Golden-ageist ideas about honourable amateurism and concerns for British sport post-2012 aren’t convincingly backed up.
As such, it’s hard to get overly excited about The Prize – a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained. Nonetheless, Gilroy’s production is the most mature and unproblematic handling of disability, gender and race I’ve seen on a UK stage. Gilroy shows us the people, never the bodies – and that alone is medal-worthy.
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