Extra Time – Derby Theatre
“Extra Time” takes you on a 75-year journey through the highs, lows and heart of the City of Derby.
Through the lens of those affiliated with Derby County Football Club, writer Jamie Thrasivoulou
examines what it means to be from Derby in a witty, touching and frankly fantastic welcome back for
Derby Theatre’s first capacity showcase since the pandemic.
It’s 1946 and after being lucky enough to get tickets, 10-year-old Lizzie and her Grandad Pete are
going to Wembley to watch the FA Cup Final between Derby County and Charlton Athletic. The
narrative is broken up by short stories of Derby fans, inspired by real interviews with supporters that
achieve the goal of encompassing everything the club is all about.
The Show tackles the mature themes of racism and loss (particularly the heartbreak of Lizzie’s
parents dying in WW2) with the gravity and respect they deserve, without compromising the overall
light-hearted nature of the play. Thrasivoulou and director Sarah Brigham really capture the feel of
the year 1946, with references to the horrors all of the characters have witnessed, but they
approach the time period with a sense of hope that had many audience members, including myself,
guilty of tearing up on more than one occasion.
As previously mentioned, “Extra Time” is for the most part a comedic experience. In this aspect, it
really shines. The cleverly written jokes were at risk of having a lessened impact, if the delivery and
accents weren’t spot on. For this, Voice Coach Anita Gilbert should be greatly commended. East
Midlands is a tough accent to get right but the ensemble does a good job of making their lines sound
believable as actual citizens of Derby.
Anna-Kate Golding does a fantastic job as Lizzie; she nails the character’s childish wonder and
backed by solid performances across the board, the cast kept a packed-out audience engaged
An eclectic musical mix of folk songs, fan chants and original numbers brilliantly backs the story, with
numerous opportunities for audience participation and a great array of instruments being played by
Brigham also does a stellar job of cycling though the different themes and stories we see in the play,
giving enough time to each short fan tale, whilst also maintaining the pace well enough to offer a
wide range of unique and interesting stances through which one can view the football club. The
theme of ‘luck’ or lack of it where Derby County is concerned runs through each time period – even
taking the most recent events at Derby and poking fun at the present predicament that the club find
It is hard not to insert my bias here as a self-proclaimed and long-suffering Derby fan. For myself and
indeed any fans of the club or citizens of Derby, this will be a show that you will totally get and
completely enjoy. That’s not to say that if you are neither a fan nor have never lived in Derby, you
won’t get a lot out of the play; you will but you just may miss a few references or in-jokes. If you
have even a passing interest in “Extra Time”, it is truly worth seeing.
The show is playing at Derby Theatre until Sunday 17 th of October, so make sure you don’t miss out!