The Giant Killers (4 stars)

The Giant Killers

Tear-jerking sporting underdog story

Football, and sport in general, has always been a medium for telling stories. Roaring support from the terraces, football fans across the country invoke the memory of heroes past to spur on the eleven players wearing their colours.

The Giant Killers recognises that despite becoming a multi-billion pound industry football is, at its heart, about community and identity. Set in the early years of association football, Giant Killers follows a ragtag bunch of working class players from Darwen in Lancashire as they enter an embryonic FA Cup. Their opponents are affluent southerners, who treat the men from Darwen with contempt.

Each of the four cast members create the sense of a small group fighting hard for something larger than themselves. Eve Pearson Wright's performance as quick-witted and determined club secretary Lucy is a particular highlight.

This kind of David vs Goliath scenario will be familiar to audiences who have enjoyed films such as Billy Elliot, The Full Monty and Brassed Off over the years. However, The Giant Killers proves that, if told with a deftness of touch, there is still mileage in a tear-jerking underdog story.

Gilded Balloon at Rose Street Theatre, until 28 Aug, 2.30pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11).

The Giant Killers

  • 4 stars

The Long Lane Theatre Company Football wasn't always a game for the masses. The first players to compete for the FA Cup were lords, knights and peers, the wealthy and the privileged. That was until a group of mill workers from Darwen in Lancashire joined with two talented Glaswegians to change the game forever. This…

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