Belfast Telegraph

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The beautiful game is made totally ridiculous

By Joe Nawaz

Total Football, Lyric Theatre

Do you know your lollipop from your nutmeg? Do you even realise that they’re not just edible items? As clueless sports bureaucrats prepare to descend on London in advance of the 2012 Olympics to spin sport into a glorified Benetton advert, the brilliantly silly-as-they-sound Ridiculusmus offer up nothing less than Total Football.

It’s a welcome return to Belfast for Jonathan Haynes and David Woods as they present their pin-sharp take on sport, identity and the offside rule.

The premise here isn’t so far from the truth of things, as the decidedly stuffy suits at the British Olympic Committee are looking to create a morale-building “Team GB” super-football squad to win back a bit of national pride.

As Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland drop out, it doesn’t really matter because “their players probably wouldn’t make the team anyway”.

This is ideas-driven performance at its most breakneck.

The duo become a cast of, well, tens, as even Sir Alex Ferguson makes an appearance.

Total Football is fast, funny and ingenious.

Belfast Telegraph

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