Tuesday, 12 February 2013


I love football.

I went to my first match in about twenty years over Christmas (I was the guest of the rather wonderful Ian Smithson, who re-introduced me to Watford FC, the team of my childhood). Apart from my sudden transition into critical mode (I was so focussed on the continental skills of the midfield, I could not speak), I reacquainted myself with the joy of sport.

As a child, I followed Watford from division four to the FA Cup final. It was Roy of The Rovers stuff: same old story, team from nowhere. Plus we had Luther Blissett, who would give his name to an Italian anarchist collective. It was difficult to care about other teams after seeing this happen. However, under their new manager, Watford have become a "champagne football" side, and I am back on the terraces.

Only the terraces don't exist. Luckily, I went to school with Ian Grant, who is one of the most talented football writers of my generation. 

I am even luckier. Just as I get back into football, Ridiculusmus are coming to the Tron with Total Football. It's theatre. It's about the beautiful game. David Woods and Jon Haynes are bringing the game to the stage.

In a show that better last ninety minutes, they cover the big questions. "immortality, happiness and why England always lose."

I think they might want to think about the last question when they perform in Scotland. They might be getting cheers for tears there. 

Anyway, Ridiculusmus has been going since 1992 , having experienced as many line up changes as Watford in their glory days. The Times, which knows about insanity, praised them for "making work that is both innovative and bonkers."

Of course, this isn't just about football (anymore than football is about kicking a ball about). It's about identity, national pride, big business and the quest for meaning. And they are going to explain the off-side rule. Frankly, the referee in that match at Christmas could do with the refresher...  

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