The Transfer by Nick Perry. Dir. Toby Field. Perf. David Schofield, Rachel Austin, Simon Armstrong. BBC Radio 4, 12 Feb.
2015. BBCiPlayer http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b051vr32 to 14 Mar. 2015.
Thematically speaking, "The Transfer" rehearses a plot most famously employed in Arthur Miller's "Death
of a Salesman" about a washed-up male protagonist desperately trying to retain his self-respect in a harsh and unforgiving
world. He make several calls to generate business, but finds that no one really wants to know. In the end he is forced to
contemplate the miseries of his existence.
In Nick Perry's drama the protagonist is football agent Danny Provisor (David Schofield), who desperately wants to persuade
Serbian starlet Stavko Illich (Mirza Koluder) to sign for a club, so as to obtain the financial wherewithal that will enable
Danny to pay the care-home fees for his wife, suffering from Alzheimer's. All of the action takes place on transfer deadline
day, where players are bought, sold, exchanged or put on loan like samples from a meat-market. The media play a significant
part in whipping up the frenzy of activity, with up-to-the-minute reports on which players have switched clubs, and who are
likely to make switches as the day unfolds.
The frenzied atmosphere was adeptly communicated in Toby Field's production through the use of real-life broadcasts from
Radio Five Live taken from deadline day in January. Presenters communicated with correspondents such as Ian Dennis about
what was happening in breathless tones; the latest transfer news seemed far more important than politics or war.
Caught up in this situation, and desperate to clinch the deal, Danny was on the phone to clients, contacts, as well as
his son Jonathan (Daniel Abelson) from five o'clock in the morning. However nothing seemed to go right for him, in spite
of all his efforts to sustain an optimistic fašade. In the end we were left wondering what the point actually was: football
is only a game, after all. Or is it? Perhaps it is the media's fault, as well as those involved in administering the game,
for making deadline day such a life-or-death occasion.