â€śThe Hetheringtons on Holidayâ€ť
Reviewed by El Barbudo
In this often hilarious but nonetheless gripping, follow-up to the 2000 release â€śThe McAlpine Semiâ€ť, which was lauded at the time for its special effects of moving goalposts and avant-garde use of black-and-white, the Hetheringtons set off for separate weekends away. Father Gary takes daughters Lucy and Polly off to Cardiff to a Rugby League cup final but soon bump into mother Kath, son Matthew and Auntie Dot who are there to support the opposition.
The plot twists and turns, taking in tragic-comic appearances by comedian Steve Ganson, as a paranoid referee who makes up his own rules, John Kear (who played ET in Spielbergâ€™s movie all those years ago) as the team coach desperate to keep secret that the coaching manual he wrote was for minibuses and 72-seaters, and Viddy Oâ€™Reff turns in an unbelievably rib-tickling performance as the blind adjudicator.
Kevin Sinfield, as we have come to expect, gives a commanding performance as the heroic but vulnerable team captain plagued by visions of late penalties not taken and Rob Burrow shines as the hateful bully counterpoised by the team softie (played to convincing effect by Jamie Thackray).
Stalwart unknowns Richard Horne and Paul Cooke have walk-on parts but will be disappointed to learn how much of their display ended up on the cutting room floor. However, we may see more of these two later, in the upcoming sequel â€śLosing to the Aussiesâ€ť.
I wonâ€™t spoil it by telling you the ending but, apparently, 50% of those polled wanted a different ending.
---------- What the papers said -----------
â€śThe Whiting is on the wall for Hullâ€ť - Hull Daily Mail
â€śThe refereeâ€™s a winkleâ€ť â€“ Shellfish Trader Weekly
â€śIt should have been meâ€ť â€“ Sean Long