Please be aware that this short excerpt contains swearing and violence from the outset.

This short scene is intended to introduce a stereotypical character who turns out to be more complex than you might first think.

“For fuck’s sake ref! Are you fucking blind? It was a fucking dive you bastard cunt!”

Kevin’s hoarse scream mingled with the other voices from the home stand. Less than two minutes of play left and it was to be a penalty against Kevin’s beloved City. It was a foregone conclusion. When the whistle finally blew, City had lost the local derby again, by that single, frustrating penalty.

Half an hour later, Kevin and his mates were walking down a quiet side street when they saw the other fans. Four of them, wearing the unmistakeable yellow and white of Rovers. Kevin was right at the front when the nine City fans fell upon the unsuspecting quartet. One of the Rovers fans had just turned to see what was happening when Kevin’s fist smashed into his face, causing a fountain of blood to spray out from his broken nose. As the man went down, Kevin started kicking. The back, the ribs, the head, anywhere was a target for Kevin’s mindless, furious onslaught.

Meanwhile, Kevin’s mates were dealing out similar treatment to the other Rovers fans. All four men went down under a constant barrage of kicks and punches, wailing and screaming in growing agony as each blow landed.

It only stopped when a distant shout alerted Kevin to the massive crowd of Rovers fans now making their way along the street.

“Leg it!” he shouted as he started to run. His mates started running behind him, so he slackened his pace slightly. He knew that they wouldn’t be able to keep up if he ran flat out. People often mistook Kevin for someone tall, weak and weedy, but his working life made him surprisingly strong and fit. Every muscle, every tendon was finely shaped and balanced, tuned to physical labour and endurance. Even now, at speed, he was hardly feeling it while the ragged pants and gasps of his friends filled the air around him.

Ten minutes later, they straggled to a halt in the High Street, leaving their traumatised victims and the avenging mob of Rovers fans far behind.

“Hey Kev – coming for a few beers?” said Andy.

“Sorry mate, I can’t. I’m working tonight. I was only at the match ‘cos it was an early kick-off. I need to get home.”

“Oh well, fair enough. Seeya later!”

“Yeah – seeya!”

As he made his way home, Kevin checked his watch. He had time for a shower and to get changed and he’d still be at the theatre well before 6:00 p.m. That would give him more than enough time for a few stretches before getting into costume and taking to the stage. Not that he found the part of Mercutio particularly challenging – he’d danced it several times before – but there was no point in risking any injuries by going on cold. There was a production of Swan Lake coming up next year and he wanted to be match-fit for that.