SWEET F.A. by Paul Beeson and Tim Barrow. ★★★★

I wouldn’t usually find myself in the stands of a football stadium at home let alone in Edinburgh, but it felt so exciting to be perched in the main stand at Tynecastle Park for a play. The stage is positioned within the stadium so with the vast view of the pitch behind, the set up is striking.    

The play itself takes us back to 1916 – in the midst of the First World War, we find ourselves in the North British Rubber factory in the heart of Edinburgh where women from across the city have stepped into the workplace for the first time.  

In the absence of their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons, nine women develop a love for playing football that they’d never had the opportunity to explore before. The game signifies a newfound excitement, companionship and freedom and the actors play out the matches physically and through descriptions that set a buzz amongst the audience. The songs and music throughout aid various passages of the story with an impressive force with the moments of ensemble singing emitting an unmistakable power and passion.   

I found myself reflecting on the great historical detail unpacked throughout and how special it felt to be immersed within it both figuratively and literally being in the stadium grounds. SWEET F.A. is an engaging, funny, tender and candid piece of theatre that makes for an insightful, inspirational and truly unique watch.

Go grab a ticket for this! Running until Monday 30th August at Tynecastle Park, Gorgie Road, EH11 2NL, Edinburgh, Venue 547. Tickets available here.

Photo by Simon Messer.

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