‘Away From Home’ at Jermyn Street Theatre

There is a right time for every new play and Away From Home knows its relevance is firmly rooted in the ‘right now’.

Kyle is a gay man, a football fan and a male escort; masterfully juggling all three with precision until these worlds suddenly and cataclysmically collide when Kyle is hired by a premiership footballer.

In the UK, football is the bread and water of many, but being devoid of any openly gay premiership footballers and with the next two world cups being held in Russia and Qatar, is the big game in big trouble?

Away From Home questions the impossibilities that surround a gay player, outing himself in a sport which is blighted by homophobia and hooliganism, despite the progressions in gay rights and ever-growing acceptance in society at large.

With his fervent Scouse and relaxed swagger, football lad Kyle is the ideal mouthpiece for a new generation of men who are openly gay, love football and want change. When he falls into a relationship with a closeted premiership player, who goes to great lengths to hide his sexuality from the public gaze, Kyle passionately unveils all that is hypocritical, fraudulent and, ultimately, taboo about the beautiful game.

Co-writer and actor Rob Ward brings a magnetic and measured energy to this one man show, as he successfully navigates playing each character. From the eager judge with the wrinkly hard-on to his working-class father and (perhaps most beautifully captured) his cross-legged, fag-dragging pimp, Vince; Ward offers us a 60-minute theatrical feast. As he lurches at you from the terraces, bellowing football chants with his friend’s football shirt clenched in his fist, you can’t help but feel impassioned.

The whole performance runs with a pace of a football match; with the same cathartic highs and lows, frustrations, elations and surprises, and is delicately punctuated with cheeky humour and moving moments. It’s edgy, insightful and carries a powerful plea.

Like any new writing should, Away From Home speaks out loud. It spits at those in the front row and pricks the ears of those seated at the back.

Away From Home runs until Friday 28 March at:

Jermyn Street Theatre
16b Jermyn St

Box Office: 020 7287 2875

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