Believe it or not, Contact is getting a bit of a reputation for football theatre. Earlier in the year we had a play about women’s football titled Offside, while in its summer programme Michael Essien I want to Play as You featured African footballers who had come over to Europe in a bid to make the big time. Now in the new season we’ve got We’re Not Really Here – A Football Opera.
In many ways it makes sense – after all, football is often described as the people’s theatre, a place where the masses come to be entertained each week, with heroes and villains being reviled and redempted. We’re Not Really Here takes these stories of highs, lows and a shared spirit and puts them on the stage.
The excitement of a goalmouth scramble, the pressure of a penalty shootout and the stomach-sinking sucker punch of a last-minute loss – all this is material ripe for dramatic treatment. Further, we know it’s going to feel authentic because it is performed by real football fans (in this case, those of Manchester City…though don’t let that keep you away).
A thorough and well-thought-out treatment of football fandom, We’re Not Really Here does a great job of bringing the beautiful game onto the spot-lit stage.