Fringe Theatre review: A Field of Our Own, Hibernian Football Club

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A Field of Our Own | Hibernian Football Club (Venue 339) | Star rating: ***

Hibs are enjoying a run of form but this collaboration between Leith youth theatre Strange Town and Public Social Partnership GameChanger is perhaps the most inspiring performance seen at Easter Road recently.

The first Fringe show to sell out its run last month, Duncan Kidd’s new play begins with the Irish diaspora of the mid 1800s and charts the formation of Hibs football club in 1875 as a way of integrating into the community, and the struggles the “Irish Club” faced gaining acceptance into the SFA through to finding a home.

Smoothly staged in a lengthy “found space” (the concourse underneath the east stand) by director Steve Small, the large cast have plenty of space to move between transitions, pivoting easily between the (occasionally dryly expositional) dramatic and the (more successful) comedic scenes, while an excellent live band provide a constant soundtrack.

There’s a lovely 20/20 hindsight in lines such as Hibs founder Canon Hannan’s (Conor McLeod) roar of: “Football has nothing to do with money!” Dramatically speaking there’s a hint of tired legs after Hibs get their first taste of silverware, but the closing rendition of Sunshine on Leith left some of the cast visibly moved and, safe to say, they weren’t alone.

• Until 20th August