The National Theatre’s smash-hit new play Dear England by James Graham, starring Joseph Fiennes, is transferring into the West End, coming to the Prince Edward Theatre.
Directed by Rupert Goold (Patriots, Tammy Faye), this new play by award-winning writer James Graham (Best of Enemies, Tammy Faye, Sherwood), is about the England men’s football team managed by Gareth Southgate, and has proved to be a critical and audience smash-hit at the National Theatre.
Dear England will play the mighty Cameron Mackintosh-owned Prince Edward Theatre from 9 October 2023 for a limited 14-week season.
Dear England is a captivating examination into the complex psychology of the much loved ’beautiful game’, and will see its star Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale, Shakespeare in Love), who plays England football manager Gareth Southgate, transfer with the show into the West End.
Other cast are to be announced.
The current run at the National Theatre stars Gina McKee (Bodyguard) as Pippa Grange, sports psychologist and Head of People and Team Development at The Football Association from 2017 to 2019; and Sean Gilder (The Gold, Sherwood) as English football manager and former professional player Sam Allardyce, along with Josh Barrow as Jordan Pickford, Gunnar Cauthery as Gary Lineker, Will Close as Harry Kane, Crystal Condie as Alex Scott, Will Fletcher as Jordan Henderson, Darragh Hand as Marcus Rashford, John Hodgkinson as Greg Clarke, Adam Hugill as Harry Maguire, Albert Magashi as Jadon Sancho, Kel Matsena as Raheem Sterling, Abdul Sessay as Bukayo Saka, Lewis Shepherd as Dele Alli, Paul Thornley as Mike Webster, Tony Turner as Greg Dyke, Ryan Whittle as Eric Dier, plus Nick Barclay, Tashinga Bepete, Will Harrison-Wallace and Miranda Heath.
Alongside Goold in the creative team for the show are set designer, Es Devlin; costume designer Evie Gurney; lighting designer, Jon Clark; movement directors, Ellen Kane and Hannes Langolf; sound designers, Dan Balfour and Tom Gibbons and video designer, Ash J Woodward. Casting is by Bryony Jarvis Taylor; dialect coach is Richard Ryder and associate director is Elin Schofield.
The National Theatre’s other West End transfers include The Crucible, which is now playing at the Gielgud Theatre until 2 September starring Milly Alcock; the touring production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, coming to the Noel Coward Theatre from 11 October to 25 November 2023; hit Jack Thorne drama The Motive and the Cue, which is coming to the Noel Coward Theatre from 9 December 2023 to 23 March 2024 starring Mark Gatiss, Tuppence Middleton, and Johnny Flynn; and new British musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge, playing the Gillian Lynne Theatre from 8 Februay to 3 August 2024.
Dear England is playing at the National’s Olivier Theatre until 11 August 2023, and will transfer to the Prince Edward Theatre running from 9 October 2023 to 13 January 2024.
Outgoing National Theatre Director and Chief Executive, Rufus Norris said: “We’re delighted to be transferring Dear England to the Prince Edward Theatre. James’s brilliant play takes the topic of football and uses it as a fascinating lens on English identity, leadership, flawed masculinity, and how we see ourselves and are seen on a very different world stage. The production has been playing to packed houses all summer creating an electrifying buzz in the auditorium, with Joseph Fiennes’ pitch-perfect portrayal of Gareth Southgate. We’re so pleased that Dear England is joining the roster of NT productions transferring to the West End this year, and we’re thrilled that there will now be even more opportunities for new audiences to experience this show.”
Playwright James Graham said: “To put the National Game on the stage of the National Theatre has been an utter dream and, in particular, to see the subject matter draw in new audiences to watch a play. It fills me with such excitement and joy to be bringing Rupert’s euphoric and entertaining production to the West End, with all its incredible movement and music and – what seems to be, for audiences so far – a deeply moving story inspired by the incredible journey of the men’s England football team.”
Director Rupert Goold said: “I have thoroughly loved making Dear England with James, at the National Theatre. We have an incredible team of artists and actors and it’s been a joy to see audiences so engaged with this production, many of whom were young people visiting theatre for the first time. I can’t wait to transfer it to the West End and give even more people the opportunity to experience this brilliant play.”