By, Jim Rutter, for The Inquirer
In 2013, I called David Robson’s Assassin a brutal gridiron drama, a verdict that holds up for his revised Playing the Assassin, now in a thrilling production at Delaware Theatre Company.
His current script builds on his original themes of guilt and recrimination, accidental suffering born of tragic circumstances (the hit didn’t violate rules, but Baker, like his real-life counterpart, Tatum, never apologized) and expands the depth of its humanity.
Some credit goes to Knight’s ferocious performance; like a tiger, he stalks the stage in a partial crouch, ready to unload on offenders, and instills his braggadocio with authenticity. But much goes to Robson, who has added great insight into the relationship of football to society and the evolution of the game as it has gone from a city-vs.-city sport to a corporate behemoth more bent on coddling millionaires and selling advertising and merchandise than on fueling intense rivalries.
The verbal sparring between the never-played Lewis and the veteran Baker accurately captures how football (and all team rivalry based sport) enables populations to sublimate violent urges into something less catastrophic and localized, no matter how violent that surrogate.
Read the full review here.
Playing the Assassin
Through Nov. 8 at Delaware Theatre Company, 200 Water St., Wilmington.
Tickets: $30 and up. Information: 302-594-1100 or www.delawaretheatre.org