It is 1881. It is 1921. It is 2017.
Four women from across the centuries live, breathe, and play football. Whilst each of them face very different obstacles in pursuing their dream profession, the possibility that the beautiful game will change their future - and the world – is tantalisingly close.
OFFSIDE, co-written by spoken word artists Sabrina Mahfouz and Hollie McNish, follows the characters of Mickey and Keeley as they fight for their place in the current professional game and remember the trailblazing players that have gone before them.
OFFSIDE was born out of extensive research in to the history and current state of women’s football, working with top women’s teams, Manchester City Women’s FC and Millwall Lionesses, where many players, sports scientists and others, integral to the development of the game, were interviewed to gain an in-depth insight into their world. To understand the historical context, Futures’ worked with the National Football Museum (Manchester) and the Imperial War Museum (London).
Produced by Futures Theatre it will tour to venues across the UK in spring 2017.
24th – 25th March: Harrogate Theatre - Studio, Harrogate
27th - 28th March: Omnibus, London
30th March – 1st April: Traverse 2, Edinburgh
6th April: The Spring, Havant
7th - 8th April: The Wardrobe Theatre, Bristol
11th April: Marlowe Theatre - Studio, Canterbury
13th April: Cast – Second space, Doncaster
20th April: The North Wall, Oxford
21st - 22nd April: Contact, Studio, Manchester
24th April: Cambridge Junction – J2, Cambridge
27th - 29th April: Northern Stage – Second Space, Newcastle
Sabrina Mahfouz, called ‘one of the rising stars of new British playwriting’ by The Scotsman, has partnered with Hollie McNish, debuting as a playwright, to write a brand new play that places the audience on the touchline of the game of a lifetime. #OffsidePlay
Sabrina Mahfouz is a British Egyptian playwright, poet and screenwriter. Paines Plough took her recent production With A Little Bit Of Luck on tour in 2016. Chef won a 2014 Fringe First Award; One Hour Only was winner of the 2012 Old Vic New Voices Edinburgh Award; Clean was produced by Traverse Theatre and transferred to New York in 2014.
“Mahfouz’s poetic script fizzes with energy” ***** - Review for Chef, The Independent
Hollie McNish is a published UK poet and spoken word artist who straddles the boundaries between the literary, poetic and pop scenes. She has released three poetry albums, Touch, Push Kick and Versus, the latter recorded at Abbey Road Studios. She has garnered titles like “chick of the week” (MTV), “internet sensation” (Best Daily)”, and poet Benjamin Zephaniah stated “I can't take my ears off her”.
“Hollie McNish is breaking boundaries and showing that poetry has a place and a role in the 21st century” Huffington Post
Futures Theatre were established to create and produce work that promotes fairness for women and girls and celebrates their untold and extraordinary lives. Engaging with authentic female stories and developing partnerships with brilliant artists we want to create theatre which ignites conversation and engenders change whilst also addressing the under-representation of female talent in UK theatre.
“Great story! I loved the history and thought the content was superb. Outstandingly powerful, almost had me in tears at points.”
“Held my attention throughout. Great to have so much poetry smoothly rolling through”
“Great play...the energy and emotion was really powerful.”
We are thrilled to have secured support from Arts Council England, Foyle Foundation, the Professional Footballers Association and a few other small trusts. Without this funding we wouldn't have even been able to dream up this incredible tour!
Offside is an ambitious production and to see this vision through, we still require a little more funding. £10,000 to be exact! We are hoping to raise £3,000 of this through Crowdfunder. This might seem like a lot of money but every pound will go towards our marketing campaign and initiative aimed at diversifying our audience, and engaging with non-traditional theatre goers and communities facing socio-economic disadvantage.
Anything above our target will ensure we can invest in the best lighting, sound, and projection equipment for the tour, provide more kitty for our Set and Costume Designer to bring the show to life, and fill our touring van with the best production it can be! The more we can raise, the higher our production values can be and the bigger the audience we can reach.
Check out our rewards to see what you can get in exchange for a donation.
Your support will be the last piece of this very exciting jigsaw, thank you!
Get £10 reward
YOU'RE A FAN! We will say a big thank you to you for supporting the project through Twitter and/or Facebook.
Get £15 reward
SEASON TICKET HOLDER. As well as a big thank you we will send you a poster of the play, signed by the cast.
Get £20 reward
YOU'RE THE COACH. You have helped us get this show in shape so we shall send you a copy of the script signed by Sabrina Mahfouz and Hollie McNish.
Get £25 reward
SUBSTITUTE. For such generosity you deserve to be on the touchline for the show you have made happen! We will provide you with one ticket to see Offside (see venues listed in the options when you click on this reward).
Get £45 reward
YOU'RE OUR GOALKEEPER. You haven't missed a shot and have kept our goals in check. We want you to have TWO tickets to see Offside - Take a friend to see the show you made happen! (see venues listed in the options when you click on this reward)
Get £65 reward
STRIKER! Oh what a goal you have helped us score. For you...
The Offside bundle!
Two tickets to see Offside
A signed poster
A signed script
(see venues listed in the options when you click on this reward)
Get £100 reward
CAPTAIN OF THE TEAM. You are instrumental to our success, thank you. We would like to invite you to have 1 half day in the rehearsal room, a signed script, and 2 tickets to the show so that you can share the inside scoop! (see venues listed in the options when you click on this reward)
Get £500 reward
THE MANAGER. Without you, there would be no game to play. Futures offers you the Co-Producer Bundle
4 VIP tickets to see Offside at the Omnibus Theatre, Clapham
4 tickets to the London end of tour party
4 signed posters
4 signed scripts
Credit in the programme
1. Will the tour happen without crowdfunding?
Yes. But we will have to make compromises on certain elements, including our audience development initiative and the level to which we can invest in the realisation of the production's design.
2. Why is the story of women's football so important?
Get involved and help us spread the word!
- Follow us online, we're on Twitter and Facebook! Share our posts and like our pages!
- Involve your friends! We need to reach as many people as possible and can not do it alone, so get tweeting, posting and uploading. Don't forget to use #OffsidePlay and we will share anything you post online!
Composition supported by the Leche Trust
Production supported by Unity Trust
Subsidised rehearsal space provided by the Jerwood