Canal Street Online Manchester

Jumpers writer Tom Wells chats to Canal St

Jumpers writer Tom Wells chats to Canal St

Jumpers for Goalposts is a play about a down on it’s luck LGBT football team with problems on and off the pitch. Written by Tom Wells the play is being produced by Oldham Coliseum as part of their Autumn schedule.

Canal St Online caught up with Wells.

Tell me about Jumpers for Goalposts

Jumpers for Goalposts is a comedy set in the changing room of a 5-a- side football team called Barely Athletic. They play every Sunday in an LGBT league in Hull, just for fun. They’re not very good.

Where did the idea come from?

I wanted to have a go at writing a rom com, set it in Hull, where I live, fill it with a group of characters who don’t get seen on stage very often, and see what happened.

Which character/s in the play did you really love to write dialogue for?

All of the characters have their moments, hopefully. Viv is a real engine - words pour out of her, usually slightly too honest words about how things are going on the pitch; Danny is a bit more considered, trying to put a good spin on bad football; Beardy Geoff has some brilliant stories to tell, Joe doesn’t say much, and Luke can hardly finish a sentence, but between them they manage to speak a sort of sense.

How excited are you for the production at Oldham Coliseum?

It’ll be really good to see the play again, and see what Chris and the cast have done with it.

Do you get nervous on opening night?

Quite nervous, but only because doing a play is a proper team effort - you want it to go well for everyone.

Are you a good footballer?

I’m a bad footballer.

Is it easy giving your creation over to directors and actors to give their interpretations? Are you the harshest critic?

The script is only the start really - the best people meet that world and those characters halfway, bring their insights and their instincts and make the play their own. So it doesn’t feel like giving it away really - it is more of a conversation, back and forth, which is a good thing, I think.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I always wanted to do it, but the doing it has taken a bit of figuring out.

What does writing for theatre give you that novels or TV doesn’t?

I just like people. In theatre, you get people to tell your stories, about other people, and then you sit with a group of people watching it together. Reading books or watching telly can be a bit lonely sometimes, but with theatre you are always part of something a bit bigger.

Jumpers for Goalposts will at Oldham Coliseum from 7 – 22 October. For tickets please

visit www.coliseum.org.uk

By Chris Park for Canal-St Online

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Published: 4-Aug-2016

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