National Theatre Announces New Play By James Graham

Written by on February 27, 2023

National Theatre Announces New Play By James Graham


Tammy Faye’s award winning author James Graham has revealed his new production which takes us into the world of football. Dear England tells the story of the England men’s football team under Gareth Southgate. Directed by Rupert Goold, Dear England will play in the Olivier theatre from June with Joseph Fiennes cast as Gareth Southgate.

Director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris said: ‘I am delighted to be welcoming James Graham back to the National Theatre this summer with his new play. Dear England is a captivating examination into the complex psychology of the much loved “beautiful game”. I am also very pleased to announce the West End transfer of Lyndsey Turner’s highly arresting production of The Crucible to the Gielgud Theatre. Audiences were transfixed when this classic was performed in the Olivier theatre last autumn and I can’t wait to share it with more theatre-goers.’

It’s time to change the game. The country that gave the world football has since delivered a painful pattern of loss. Why can’t England’s men win at their own game?
With the worst track record for penalties in the world, Gareth Southgate knows he needs to open his mind and face up to the years of hurt to take team and country back to the promised land.

Playwright James Graham said: ‘To tell this story of the national game on the stage of the National Theatre is just the greatest thrill, if an intimidating responsibility. The experience of working on This House at the National Theatre 10 years ago changed my life as an emerging writer. Now, with Dear England, to be given the opportunity to shine a light on another public institution in the form of the England men’s football team is, I know, an exciting opportunity.

What Gareth Southgate has attempted in his quiet cultural reform of England football I find epic and deeply moving. And I’m so grateful to be surrounded by some of British theatre’s most exciting creative talent to unite around this new show.’

Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Mother) plays Gareth Southgate in this new play by James Graham (Best of Enemies, Sherwood). Following their acclaimed productions, Tammy Faye and Ink, he reunites with director Rupert Goold (Spring Awakening, Judy) for this gripping examination of both nation and game. With set design by Es Devlin, costume design by Evie Gurney, lighting design by Jon Clark and video design by Ash J Woodward. Further casting to be announced.

Tickets are now on sale from the official site.

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