Whilst the title may imply that you need to be a huge rugby fan to enjoy this, it is definitely not a mandatory requirement. However, It is the Rugby World Cup 2015 and three ardent rugby fans find themselves arguing as to which is the greatest moment in the game’s history: Francois Piennaar receiving the World Cup from Nelson Mandela in 1997, Jonah Lomu’s four astonishing tries for New Zealand against England in the same year, or Jonny Wilkinson’s dramatic last minute drop goal in the 2003 World Cup Final.
Disagreements are put on hold when a mysterious stranger arrives and offers an option involving Frederick Stanley Jackson – a Cornish tin miner who had been on the first ever British Lions tour to New Zealand in 1908.

The company of four morph in and out of roles, leading us through the turbulent life of Jackson and his battles with the RFU which in turn make him a forgotten hero in rugby history; and clearly a man with a great legacy.

The direction by Shane Morgan alongside the excellent movement from Moira Hunt, who also performs makes this an engaging piece. The script by Dougie Blaxland is linear and without scope for any character development but it is very much an educational experience with a purpose to tell Jackson’s tale in order to share his story and reflect his battles. Further information is definitely needed here; a reference such as a photo or programme notes would help. Perhaps more of a setting than just a workshop arena could allow the piece to find more of a flow rather than it become a history lesson.

The interaction with the audience is well used and the hour play rattles through to a fairly predictable ending. It is enjoyable, enlightening and given the current sporting climate, hugely topical.

Runs at The Rondo until Saturday and touring.
*** (3 Stars)

Petra Schofield