DramaNorth East & YorkshireReview

Keeper of the Flame – Theatre Deli, Sheffield

Reviewer: Jacob Bush

Writer: Robert Adams

Director: Michael Mulqueen

Keeper of the Flameis a new play written and performed by Robert Adams which tells the story of goalkeeper George Gilbert. It explores interesting questions surrounding sport, politics and family relationships, how the three intersect and whether they should intersect as much as they do.

It must be said that your reviewer is not someone who have much knowledge about football at all, so going into this play he did not have any prior knowledge on who George Gilbert was. Regardless it was still a reasonably engaging play.

Robert Adams’ play is well-paced, keeping the narrative moving whilst never feeling rushed. However the decision to set the play in an interview setting never fully felt like it paid off. It does the keep the audience wondering where we are and who this offstage voice of Lucas is, but it also feels like it puts a wall between the action and the audience whilst this play doesn’t quite work as a ‘fly on the wall’ piece. One person plays can often be more effective when the audience are actively brought into the action, and in this play we weren’t.

As a performer, Adams is wonderful. He is likeable and energetic, and the audience certainly start to root for him. He tackles a wide range of emotions very well, and brings to life many different characters. Perhaps too many characters, as at times one can forget who exactly is who. His voice acting is particularly impressive throughout. Adams, in collaboration with director Michael Mulqueen, find moments to use theatrical creativity – the moments depicting football games are particularly dynamic and engaging to watch.

Despite your reviewer maybe not being the target audience for this play, he still enjoyed the show. It is a great showcase of Robert Adams, particularly as a performer, and one looks forward to seeing his future projects.

Reviewed on 24th September 2023.

The Reviews Hub Score

Dynamic and thought-provoking

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The Reviews Hub - Yorkshire & North East

The Yorkshire & North East team is under the editorship of Jacob Bush. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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