Action Hero and China Plate Present

Hoke’s Bluff

Everything rests on this one free throw. On this one last shot. On this power play. On these last few seconds. Action Hero have got their game faces on. Bring it!


Run time: 80 minutes

A person dressed up as a tiger mascot holding a popcorn box, chucking red confetti.

"The key to this show’s success is that it is all done with love. A very clever piece of theatre; a cracking night out."

Total Theatre

A young woman lying on the grass dressed in a cheering leading outfit, holding a pompom.

Hoke’s Bluff

We’re giving the crowd an H!
We’re giving the crowd an O!
We’re giving the crowd a K!
We’re giving the crowd an E!
We’re giving the crowd an S!
We’re giving the crowd a B!
We’re giving the crowd an L!
We’re giving the crowd a U!
We’re giving the crowd an F!
We’re giving the crowd another F!

With a nostalgic yearning for the simplicity of a world that never really existed, Hoke’s Bluff meets its audience on the bleachers and tells them an underdog story that’s been told a million times before. By shifting and rearranging the trite narratives of high school storylines and inspiring locker room speeches, Action Hero use hackneyed formulas and cheap sentimentality to find out what it means to be a winner (on the inside).

Hoke’s Bluff navigates the curious territory in which our emotional responses to American dreams outweigh our rational understanding of what America (and the Western world) really stands for. By attempting a heartfelt and sincere rendition of schmaltzy, hackneyed underdog sports movies we gently reveal both the ambient violence and the genuine beauty that hide within these seemingly innocuous cornball stories.

‘See why this maverick company, with its engaging DIY aesthetic, is attracting so much attention.’The Guardian

‘It’s a story about stories, a fictional narrative about an already fictional world, but there’s also a mournful beauty somewhere underneath all the movie sequence spoofs and frantic flag waving.’Exeunt Magazine

‘Action Hero gather all of America’s defining iconography, load it into a cannon, and blast the lot over the floor of a gym hall.’Fest

Co-produced by China Plate and Warwick Arts Centre. Co-commissioned by Bristol Old Vic Ferment. Funded by Arts Council England. Action Hero are supported by Theatre Bristol’s Company Producer

Photo © Action Hero 

Creative Team

A young woman standing in front of a hanging microphone, behind her another man is doing the same.

Action Hero

Interested in popular culture and its use, as both a weapon and a shared cultural memory.

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  • Created by | Action Hero
  • Performers | Action Hero & Laura Dannequin
  • Text in collaboration with | Nick Walker
  • Dramaturg | Deborah Pearson
  • Production Manager | Jo Palmer
  • Producer | China Plate
  • Supported by | Mel Scaffold (Theatre Bristol Company Producer)

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