Did your Year 10 PE report describe you as “enthusiastic, but not a naturally gifted athlete”? If so, James Hancox’s Sports for the Unsporty might be your moment to shine. Hancox has invented sports for the everyman, which he delivers amid a light-hearted, interactive hour of comedy and games. And, like a champion pole-vaulter, it goes over well.
Sports for the Unsporty is a school sports day, children’s party game and stand up act rolled into one. Expect team cheers, ribbon dancing and extreme recycling. Between games, Hancox gets the ball rolling with some friendly banter (and more than a few Werther’s Originals). The show is also smattered with impromptu serenades, which give Hancox opportunity to flourish his quick wit with off-the-cuff lyrics.
Sports for the Unsporty is pretty heavy on audience participation, so please be warned if that’s not your thing. The interactive nature of the show also means that there’s some reliance on the audience to be good sports. Our small Sunday night crowd was a little hit and miss in this regard, but there were some initially demure champions who took up the mantle for us. There’s no reason to be shy, though – none of the events are too embarrassing or demanding. James Hancox himself is so thoroughly likeable that there’s no risk of feeling awkward. Generally, if a moustachioed stranger in short shorts beckoned me towards him with a roll of packing tape, I’d set a new sprint record. But James is an easy-going and fun host for the night.
All in all, Sports for the Unsporty is simple, silly fun – not with a whole lot of substance, but it's uncomplicated. My usual method of burning calories is forgetting to take the cookies out of the oven, but I had good time at this show. So why not go down to the Garden to cheer on James Hancox? It’ll be more interesting than the game, promise.