One Run and One Ball Of A Time At ‘When The Eye Has Gone’
I would like to mention that as a child, I did not get a cricket bat placed into my hands. Or cricket balls thrown at me at full speed, whilst reciting the full named list of England’s cricket team. No, unlike Colin ‘Ollie’ Milburn, I am a lover of theatre not cricket. However, with just a dusty rag and a giant pint of gin and coke, Dan Gaisford managed to impersonate the creme de la creme of famous cricket players including Milburn.
As I sat in the snug, lowly lit Rondo theatre, I felt like I should have brought scampi fries and pre-ordered a pint. The pub like atmosphere and excitable one man show bowled me over with a diary like script and extremely well timed voice overs. Gaisford’s singing was like Milburn’s mother would say, ‘A good backup plan son’ because it was a little silly mid-off. But, in a charming way portrayed Milburn’s alcoholism during his career.
As part of the audience, I felt sympathy for the main character, without stating his downfall, Gaisford was having a ball and winning our hearts at the same time.
The show was humble and captured the era very well with little use of props and only a table and chair for the set.
Gaisford’s passion for the story shined through his ability to perform the hour long monologue fluently. Not knowing anything about the cricket scene during the fifties and sixties, I was confused by all the names being thrown about the room. This didn’t help the character building that Gaisford was trying to put together for us. In some parts, the play became confusing but I do feel that if I had more cricketing knowledge I would have been able to embrace the different extracts from Milburn’s life.
As for the acting, Gaisford is definitely a keeper! The script put a new spin on the romance between sport and theatre.
Overall, it was wide off the mark being a top scoring game.
*** – 3 Stars
Review by Verity Annear