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Praise for writer’s football greed play
11:00am Tuesday 13th August 2013 in News
THE latest effort from an award-winning Malvern playwright is being given a primetime airing on BBC Radio 4 today (Friday).
Paul Jenkins, who grew up in Malvern and went to The Chase, won considerable acclaim three years ago with his play about computer games First Person Shooter.
Set in Malvern and featuring characters who worked at a high-tech defence company, the play was obviously based on QinetiQ – although the firm was never actually named.
For his latest effort, Mr Jenkins, aged 42, has turned his attention to football and satirising the greed and “money-driven” culture that has saturated the modernday game.
With football increasingly dominated by record transfer fees, obscene player wages and oligarch owners Red Star Newport imagines what would happen if a club run as a co-operative managed to compete with the bank-rolled best.
Fuelled by solidarity and team spirit, Red Star go from strength-to-strength, but as the dream of a place in the Premier League nears, the utopia sours as it becomes clear some players are more equal than others.
Mr Jenkins said his inspiration came from living in Moscow.
“I was interested in the story of the Russian Revolution, the utopian ideal and how it all went wrong,” he said.
“I wondered how I could re-tell that story in a modern context and thought what is the most moneydriven, capitalised sector today?”
The play is being broadcast for the first time on BBC Radio 4 at 2.15pm today and will be available on the iPlayer for the next week.
It is already causing a stir with critics, being named ‘pick of the day’ in the Telegraph and critic’s choice by the Radio Times.
Mr Jenkins, who was a runner-up in the 2012 BBC/National Theatre Wales Drama Award, is keen to take his story further.
“Originally I thought it would make a great film or short TV series. I would love to develop it if possible,” he said.
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