“A father. A son. A club. A Town. A game.” That’s the tagline for Fly Half, a musically-laced play headed to The Riverfront in Newport, which may be for steel miners what Billy Elliot was for coal miners.
Much like the aforementioned musical hit, Fly Half has already become critically acclaimed – scooping up the Critic’s Choice award from British Theatre Guide in 2018. Using original songs, the South Wales-set story follows a working-class man from the former industry who also plays rugby. But the narrative thrust spotlights local communities that come out and attend the games week in and week out; their dedication to both the sport and the families involved in it.
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The idea of a ‘rugby musical’ might seem like a chalk-and-cheese combination at first glance, but really, few other sporting events are so closely linked with song as Wales’ favourite pastime – being a nation so entrenched in oral tradition. At only an hour’s runtime, the production is quicker-paced than the average game, too.
The Riverfront, Newport, Fri 12 Nov. Tickets: £11.25-£13.25.
words HANNAH COLLINS