Reviewed by Catherine Brown
Sporting duo Phil Tuffnell and Matt Dawson are best known in recent times as captains of ‘Question of Sport’, with many forgetting their contributions to the world of rugby and cricket. ‘A Lock In with Tuffers and Dawson’, which I saw at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, gives them the opportunity to share their experiences along with their friend Nick Hancock.
The informality of the evening was clear as soon as we stepped into the auditorium, with a working bar on stage surrounded by photos and books significant to the lads. The audience were encouraged to complete question cards, which may be used during the show, although on our night they didn’t appear to be. We were also encouraged to take photographs (but not videos) which could be shared on social media.
The host, Nick Hancock, did a great job of guiding the conversations, while also rightly ridiculing Matt and Phil at points. The discussion made reference to current sports people such as Alistair Cooke and Serena Williams along with interesting tales about characters they had played with and against such as Brian Lara, Jonny Peacock and Jonah Lomu.
There were also stories about backroom antics and how best they dealt with referees or umpires. You don’t have to be a rugby or cricket fan to enjoy this show, although there were many references to key matches or tours abroad which younger members of the audience may not have been familiar with. Matt gave a great commentary on the England 2003 World Cup win, which was accompanied by a video clip to support the chat.
Matt and Phil took part in a couple of quiz style games in the form of mastermind and catchphrase, which also encouraged some audience participation. They also discussed the reality shows they had taken part in including Masterchef (Matt), I’m a celebrity (Phil) and Strictly Come Dancing. The latter gave Phil a great opportunity to demonstrate his salsa moves!
The New Alexandra Theatre is in a central location in the city and has plenty of parking nearby. We were welcomed into the bar before the show, which although they are going under some refurbishment to the exterior of the building, is still a pleasant room to relax with a drink and chat to friends. The staff were very friendly and it is possible to pre-order refreshments for the interval.
For other shows at the New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham visit www.atgtickets.com/birmingham or call the box office on 0844 871 3011.
New Alexandra Theatre, Suffolk Queensway, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 4DS