Up 'n' Under (3 stars)

This article is from 2010.

Up 'n' Under

Enjoyable revival of John Godber’s lively romp

Yorkshire playwright John Godber’s crowd-pleaser is celebrated with a new production marking its 25th anniversary, directed by the author himself and starring celebrity-turned-actress Abi Titmuss. It’s the story of five disillusioned working class lads – and one plucky lass – who are united by their love of rugby and who team-up to take on the top side of the county which is run by a ruthless wealthy businessman. Written in the mid-1980s, it also looks at the dark days of Margaret Thatcher’s reign of terror, her war on the north of England and the culture of greed she ushered in.

Today, the humour feels a bit dated and the plot somewhat familiar, not least because it’s been reworked in numerous films since, most notably The Full Monty. Nevertheless, Godber’s play’s got heart, and it’s a lively romp that doesn’t outstay its welcome. The cast are good, too, particularly William Ilkley and Robert Angell, both of whom are veteran alumni of Godber’s Hull Truck Theatre Company. And Titmuss acquits herself well enough in a role that requires a few funny cod-Shakespearian speeches.

Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 30 Aug, 5.25pm, £17.50–19.50 (£15.50–17.50).

Up 'n' Under

John Godber's award-winning comedy about five unfit lads who take on the local pub-rugby champs.

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