Arthur Smith and Chris England
Where and When
5th – 8th March 1997 @ The Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne
July 4th, 1990. In Italy, England are playing Germany in the Semi final of the World Cup. In Majorca, Bill and Monica are on holiday trying to rekindle a failing marriage. Monica dreams of an affair with Gary Lineker, the `Queen Mother of Football’, though in fact she’s been seeing Dan, a friend of Bill’s and a travel writer whose books are published by Bill’s firm. Circumstances change when Dan unexpectedly arrives at their hotel, ostensibly in Majorca to write an article. But as the game begins, the three, in the company of Bill’s colleague Ian and Birgitta, a local German tourist rep they’ve befriended, settle down to watch the game on TV. Through ninety minutes, extra time and the infamous penalty shoot out, the field of battle switches between the hotel and the Italian football pitch as Monica, Bill and the England team approach the inevitable.
- Bill – Tony Feltham
- Monica – Chrissie Wathen
- Ian – Simon Jackson
- Birgitta – Linda Turner
- Dan – Richard Neal
- Gary Lineker – Paul Dodman
- Directed – Geoff Whipp
- Assistant Director – Ann Pond
- Stage Manager – Chris Scadden
- Set Design – Eddie Colton and Joe Brooks
- Lighting and Sound Director – Nick Watkins
- Properties – Val Mantle and Penny Scotford
- Make-up – Pam Feltham and Sheila Smith
- On the Book – Pam Feltham
- Caller – Matthew Gill
- Set Contruction – Saliann Colton, Brian Curry and The Company
- Transportation – Ken Lambert
- Advertising Sales – Tony Willmett
- Publicity – Geoff Whipp
- Programme and Poster Design – Richard Neal
- Photography – Richard Neal
Footie fever fails to ignite
They must have been sick as those proverbial parrots.
Despite playing their hearts out to a nail-biter of a finish, Wimborne Drama could have been forgiven for thinking they were performing to an empty stadium as most of Arthur Smith and Chris England’s witty observations of footbal mania fell outside the goal area.
The deliveries were crisp, the characters superb, the lines hilarious, but most of the crowd seemed to be supporting the away team.
Yes there was a good audience, but – I’m going out on a limb here – the majority were local lads whose passion was definitely football and not am drams. A fair number, I’m afraid, failed to make it past the half-time oranges and opted for the pub. Which was a crying shame as the cast picked-up steam to bring the spoof to its brilliant finale played out after extra time.
Tony Feltham was superb in the part of Bill, the soccer-mad husband who insists on spending his holiday in Majorca watching the World Cup finals on Spanish TV.
Chrissie Wathen plays his long suffering wife Monica who, it turns out, isn’t averse to playing away from home herself but really fantasises about an affair with Gary Lineker.
Linda Turner was suitably Teutonic as the blonde bomb-shell Brigitta and Richard Neal tremendously coarse as the travel-writing, Stoke City fanatic Dan.
But full marks to Simon Jackson as nerdy, football-hating Ian who managed to squeeze what few laughs were to be had from the audience who should have got a lot more of the footie references.
Winners’ trophies should also go to director Geoff Whipp, the set design team, Richard Neal for the best programme this season, and whoever thought of giving proceeds from programme sales to the Cherries crisis fund.