It is sad when Blackpool is the highlight of a young women’s weekend but Edith (Brinley Meyer) in The Gloveman seemed pretty enthusiastic about going there, obviously unaware of the lack of charm of the now seedy seaside resort. She was also unaware of the lack of scruples of her escort, the notorious Hugh. He presented himself as a mate of her brother’s, when the truth was somewhat different.
The Gloveman charts the story (in short-ish snatches)) of footballer Royce and his friends, family and club, and his descent into gambling and match-fixing. Rumours of the scandal attract the attention of a journalist who is determined to break the news of the story. The story is set in the UK, though could be Anywhere Australia; anywhere, that is, with a mad footy and gambling culture.
Royce (Chris Argirousis) struggled with his longing for recognition for his footy prowess, all the while hiding the unsavory aspects of the game. Argiroussis expressed an expected vanity about his achievements with flair, bristling at the suggestion that former team-mate Col (Matt Blake) may have been the better player. Highlights? Chris Miller is excellent as the unscrupulous Hugh, he adds an great injection of colourful if corrupt life, his underhand ways such a contrast to the unsophisticated Edith, who falls for him hard.
There was a bit of a disconnect between the dialogue and accent: numerous references were made to various locales in Northern England, with director Michael Block sticking to accents that were pure Australian, language however remained typically Northern English, which could have been tweaked to give the play a more universal feel. Still, entertaining but only on for a few more days!
The Gloveman is presented by Blancmange Productions, for more information and tickets see: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/the-gloveman-dreams-ambition-love-lust-corruption-collide-tickets-37597604447
Featuring: Chris Argirousis, Brinley Meyer, Chris Miller, Matt Blake, Janine Penfold and Ben Dewstow.
Creative/Tech Team: Chris J Naylor (writer), Michael Block (director), Chris J Naylor & Stephen Carnell, Stephen Carnell (assistant director), Hanna Nguyen (sound & lighting), Stephen Carnell (marketing) and Phyllis Photography.
Image by Hayden Brotchie