Up 'n' Under
|Up 'n' Under|
|Written by||John Godber|
|Place premiered||Hull Truck Theatre
Kingston upon Hull, England
|Series||Up 'n' Under II|
|Subject||An amateur rugby team with an unbroken record of defeat accept the help of a female coach|
|Setting||Wheatsheaf Arms pub in the North of England|
Up 'n' Under is a comedy by English playwright John Godber, first staged at the Hull Truck Theatre in 1984. It won The Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy that same year. The sequel, Up 'n' Under II, followed in 1985.
Up and under is a tactical kick in rugby league in which the ball is kicked high and short onto or behind the defending team. This type of kick is usually made close to the opposition's tryline as an attacking play. It is a phrase made popular by the late TV commentator Eddie Waring who strongly resembles the character played by Griff Rhys Jones in the later film version of Up and Under.
It followed the story of an inept pub team from the Wheatsheaf Arms pub in a rugby league sevens competition in Kingston upon Hull in England. Ex-pro Arthur's only passions in life are his wife and rugby league. When he hears about the 'Cobblers Arms' pub team and their corrupt manager, Arthur bets his life savings with Reg Welch that he can train any team to beat them.
However, the 'Wheatsheaf Arms' can only muster a side of four whose pride lies in their unbroken record of defeat. The pitifully unfit set of men have to accept the help of a coach, who just happens to be a woman.
They have to struggle through adversity, come up triumphant and become a team. They are given a bye to the final of the competition where they have to play The Cobblers.
Up 'n' Under II
The sequel to the original play is centred on the return match between the amateur rugby league team from the 'Wheatsheaf Arms' and the 'Cobblers Arms'.