‘A powerfully acted play to be admired for its technical aesthetics and story; a departure from the usual storyline Roverman Production is noted for’.
There was an advert of a deodorant with the tagline that goes like ‘Some things are for men only’. This tagline was manifested at the National Theatre during the media screening of the latest Roverman Production play Games Men Play
At first glance, the poster may leave you with an idea of what the play may reflect. But that is where you get it wrong. This isn’t one of the ‘usual’ Roverman plays which run high on love, marriage, relationships themes. No. ‘Games Men Play’ leans on a different kind of relationship-one between a football coach, his players, and members of his technical team.
Coach Bediako, a patriotic, focused, stern but affable coach of the Black Stars, bent on seeing his team perform creditably well at the World Cup in Brazil, faces a real test that could crush and thwart his mission. There was the problem of protestation by a section of his players, an Assistant coach, Adepa, who is eager to see him fail so he could take over the job, an irascible, arrogant player who thinks himself the ‘Maradona’ of the team, a match fixer ready to offer a $1Million bribe if they throw away their first game and a gullible team manager who takes the side of the recalcitrant players rather than the coach.
The cheers and applause that filled the auditorium yesterday was clearly an attestation that Roverman Production sold out another great production.
ACTING: The actors were enthralling. They exuded passion and great acting though at some point slightly over the top. The audience were held spell bound and clearly in laughing mode.
Take Adepa for instance. His antics-style of walking and his heavily laden nasal speaking tone will leave you with a bruised rib. There was also the fetish priest and his assistant, who saw an opportunity to milk, some dollars off the team under the banner of ‘providing spiritual consultancy’. And there was Dr. Fynn, who decided to enjoy the Brazilian damsels but ended up romancing transvestites.
MUSIC: An impressive musical catalogue was interspersed with the acting, which was beautiful delivered by the actors like when Coach Bediako met Maria and she did a rendition of Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back to me Now’ will leave you with chills. Nice work!
STAGE: From the stage set design to sound and lightening was awesomely put together. It gave the play a certain niche. And Oh, there was the use of technology (skype) which the players used in interacting with the coach, who was at the hotel rather than the touchline.
At the end of the almost 2 hours play, which took three weeks to rehearse and stage, a departure from the norm of six weeks rehearsals, according to the writer/producer Uncle Ebo Whyte, one sees how Coach Bediako surmounts the challenges, inspires his players to victory, finds love and helps the cocky Best (self acclaimed Star of the Black Stars) become a better player.
The play is powerfully acted out and must be admired for its technical feel. Uncle Ebo Whyte’s brilliance lie in his ability to pick overly spoken about themes and present them in a very stylish, fresh state.
Games Men Play runs on Saturday and Sunday (two shows per night). Shift some of your weekend schedules to another day and go watch it, after all it’s a long holiday.