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AWAY FROM HOME – Jermyn Street Theatre, London.

away from home, jermyn street theatre“Footie’s a real poof’s game,” well arguably not in Martin Jameson’s production of Away From Home. With just one man on stage, it is almost impossible to believe how many characters you meet or how many emotions you go through. Actor, Rob Ward is electric at the Jermyn Street Theatre, letting the serious issue of the show subtly seep in, rather than be rammed down your throat.

As a massive football fan and a male escort, Kyle is forced to hide his career from his friends and family, until he’s specifically asked for by a premiership footballer. Watching Ward is a real treat. His physicality and unexplainable amount of energy, swallows the audience’s attention. The 70 minutes are a blur, as Ward whizzes around the stage; throwing on clothes and ripping them off again, having sex with High Court Judges and getting thrown out of nightclubs.

From his Father to his pimp, Ward’s portrayal of the different personalities in Kyle’s life is perfect character acting. It is not just his voice that helps differentiate, but his face softens as his Mother, and his eyes have a welcoming smile as his “gay footballer.” Though there is only one actor physically on the stage, it certainly doesn’t feel like it.

The writing in this piece is exceptional. Intense, moving and hilarious, the audience are laughing one minute, and welling up the next. Though Kyle’s job is a situation unlike what most people know, the character is relatable, and you’re desperate for things to change for him.

Kyle’s footballer makes the point that the next two World Cups are being held in Russia and Qatar, saying it’s like FIFA sticking a middle finger up to players and fans who are gay. Though Ward continues on with his epic story, this line stays with you. Ultimately Away From Home has a really powerful point, and though you can’t not laugh along with the language, you also can’t escape the fact that in this day in age, in such a beloved sport homophobia is still rife.

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Reviewed 13/03/14

By Joanna Trainor

Runs until 28th March 2014
Jermyn Street Theatre, London, SW1.


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