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The Nap. A play about snooker

Postby SnookerFan

British actor Jack O’Connell has become a Hollywood favourite after appearing in two acclaimed British pictures (Starred Up and ’71) plus Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken.

And now the 25-year-old is returning to the stage to play a talented young snooker star in The Nap.

It’s a comedy thriller written by Richard Bean, who was part of the team behind the National Theatre’s smash hit One Man, Two Guvnors.

O’Connell describes The Nap to me as a ‘very endearing play about a world I’m not experienced in, but word on the street is that it can be quite a dark, sometimes secluded, way of life’.

O’Connell was much taken with Bean’s script — and with the opportunity to be directed by Richard Wilson.

And the venue could hardly be more fitting: The Nap will have its premiere at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield.

‘Sheffield is the world centre for snooker!’ O’Connell says, observing that the World Snooker Championship has been held at the Crucible since 1977.

O’Connell’s character, Dylan is a second tier player, but he’s setting his sights higher.

‘He worships the sport as a religion,’ the actor tells me from the set of his latest film, in which he plays a Czech resistance fighter (his co-stars include Rosamund Pike and Mia Wasikowska).

‘Dylan never cheats; and he’d never do anything to disrupt the flow of the game.’

He says his two uncles play snooker every Sunday, though he had to wait until he was older before being allowed to watch them and his late father, because they ‘could be quite foul mouthed’.

But he likes the game — although he admits he’s not as handy with a cue as Dylan.

Sheffield Theatre’s artistic director Daniel Evans told me he’s in negotiations to engage a snooker professional to be in the play who will, it’s hoped, offer O’Connell some tips.

The actor made his debut in Fiona Evan’s play Scarborough at the Royal Court seven years ago.

He says he’d certainly like Ms Jolie, with whom he has remained friends, to come to see him in Sheffield. ‘I’ll have to invite her well in advance — she’s always busy,’ he adds.

Well, he’s got a bit of time. The Nap runs at the Crucible from March 10-26. ... ooker.html

Re: The Nap. A play about snooker

Postby SnookerFan

I'd consider going to see that. But Sheffield is a way to go when you're just watching a play. Two or three days of snooker is one thing.

Though, not sure it sounds like it's coming to near me.