Vardy v Rooney- The Wagatha Christie Trial

Wagatha Christie West End play Vardy v Rooney to be staged in London

West End producer Eleanor Lloyd is planning a new play based on the high court trial between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney, one of the most expensive libel cases in UK history.

Vardy v Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial will be staged in London’s West End for one night only this Autumn, although there are currently no details on dates or theatre.

The Vardy v Rooney play will be adapted from the original high court transcripts by playwright Liv Hennessy, and directed by Lisa Spirling, artistic director of Theatre503 in Battersea.

Eleanor Lloyd is the producer of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at London County Hall, and is President of the Society of London Theatre. Her forthcoming new productions include two transfers from the Young Vic: James Graham’s Best of Enemies starring Zachary Quinto and David Harewood, coming to the Noel Coward Theatre from 14 November; and The Collaboration, which will open on Broadway starring Paul Bettany and Jeremy Pope in December.

The play is edited from seven sensational days of High Court transcripts, and will allow audiences to witness the case of Rebekah Vardy v Coleen Rooney unfold in their own words.

The play’s promotional material says: “A story stranger than fiction that blurs the boundaries of tabloid scoop, court case and soap opera, this trial explores privacy and celebrity in modern Britain whilst asking who is Davy Jones and where exactly is his locker? While the country was captivated, only a handful of people witnessed what happened behind closed doors. Now you can too.”

UK courts do not allow TV cameras, so verbatim dramas – whether on TV or stage – allow audiences to experience a sense of what happens in court.

Eleanor Lloyd told the Guardian (see link below) that: “I was fascinated by the trial. It felt like such an extraordinary example of celebrity culture. Usually celebrity and libel trials are a bit grim, and obviously this has had impact on Vardy and Rooney as individuals, but it felt crazy to have got as far as the high court.”

Lloyd also said: “We know celebrities suffer from intrusion into their lives that feels unfair. We know the tabloid media spins things. Our rational brains know we’re being served in a big way. Is it true, is it not true? But our emotional brains can’t help but be engaged. The Daily Mail sidebar of shame is incredibly popular, but we read it with a kind of guilty feeling at the same time.”

The director of the play, Lisa Spirling, said that the trial asked “key questions about the complex boundaries between privacy and celebrity in modern Britain and what it is to be a so-called Wag”.

Rebekah Vardy, who is the wife of Jamie Vardy, the Leicester City footballer, lost her libel case in July 2022 against Coleen Rooney, the wife of England footballer Wayne Rooney. The drama started three years earlier when Rooney carried out a private investigation to identify the person who had been laking stories from her private Instagram account to journalists at The Sun.

A number of TV dramas are also underway about the trail, including Channel 4’s drama Vardy v Rooney: A Courtroom starring Harry Potter’s Natalia Tena and BAFTA winner Chanel Cresswell as Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney, with Michael Sheen playing barrister David Sherborne.

Book Vardy v Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial tickets in London

Coleen Rooney's tweet accusing Rebekah Vardy
Coleen Rooney’s tweet accusing Rebekah Vardy
Channel 4's TV drama Vardy v Rooney- A Courtroom. Photo- Channel 4
Channel 4’s TV drama Vardy v Rooney- A Courtroom. Photo- Channel 4
Links:
The Guardian

📷 Main photo: Vardy v Rooney- The Wagatha Christie Trial


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Vardy v Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial

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