The Pass, theatre review: 'Acerbically witty play that tackles homophobia in football'

Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London

Paul Taylor
Monday 20 January 2014 12:07
Comments
Russell Tovey (Jason) and Nico Mirallegro (Harry) in 'The Pass'
Russell Tovey (Jason) and Nico Mirallegro (Harry) in 'The Pass'

John Donnelly's acerbically witty and horribly gripping new play tackles the topical subject of the homophobia that seems to be entrenched in the culture of football.

Set in swish hotel rooms over a period of twelve years, it keeps track of the ambitious Jason (Russell Tovey).

In John Tiffany's dynamic, supremely assured production, Jason is first seen as a 17-year-old sharing a room in Bulgaria with his black team-mate Ade (a very likeable Gary Carr) on the tense evening before a match that will make or break their careers. Flashing lots of toned flesh, the pair engage in edgy horse-play that has a homoerotic frisson.

Seven years on, Jason is a married international celebrity, seeking to quash rumours about his orientation by engineering a honey-trap in a Spanish hotel room with a table dancer (Lisa McGrillis).

The price he pays for choosing superstardom over human intimacy is beautifully charted in Tovey's splendid performance – the cockiness increasingly desperate and hollow when he confronts, after twelve years, the friend he betrayed.

Nico Mirallegro is very funny as the gabby bell-hop in this chilling morality play about a man damned as both victim and devious exploiter of the secrecy culture.

To 1 March; 020 7565 5000

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in