Kirwan will be joining Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale, Shakespeare in Love) in the show, which transfers into the West End’s Prince Edward Theatre from 9 October 2023.
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 (Joseph Fiennes), and has proved to be a critical and audience smash-hit at the National Theatre.
Dear England is a captivating look into the complex psychology of the much loved ’beautiful game’. Dervla Kirwan will play Dr Pippa Grange, the psychologist who helped changed the England players perceptions, and to confront and share their doubts and fears.
Other cast announced today include Denzel Baidoo as Bukayo Saka, 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, Lloyd Hutchinson as Sam Allardyce, Albert Magashi as Jadon Sancho, Kel Matsena as Raheem Sterling, Lewis Shepherd as Dele Alli, Griffin Stevens as Harry Maguire, Paul Thornley as Mike Webster, Tony Turner as Greg Dyke, Ryan Whittle as Eric Dier.
The show also features Nick Barclay, Tashinga Bepete, Kate Kelly Flood, Will Harrison-Wallace, Miranda Heath, Tom Mahy and Tristan Waterson.
Kirwan told the Daily Mail that she is “thrilled to be taking on the role. I’ve not performed in the West End for a while. It’s such a special experience and I’m delighted to return to the heart of Soho in a theatre large enough to bring James Graham’s acclaimed play to a whole new audience. Rehearsals are just beginning but the company already feels like a winning team.”
Dervla’s theatre credits include Macbeth (Chichester Festival Theatre); Jesus Hopped The A Train (The Young Vic); King Lear (Chichester Festival Theatre); Mr Foote’s Other Leg (Hampstead Theatre, West End); Frankie and Johnny (Chichester Festival Theatre); The Weir (Donmar Warehouse, West End); Uncle Vanya (Chichester Festival Theatre); Betrayal (Donmar Warehouse); Aristocrats (National Theatre); and Hush (Royal Court Theatre).
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, with additional music by Max Perryment and video designer, Ash J Woodward. Casting director is Bryony Jarvis Taylor; voice coach is Cathleen McCarron and dialect coach is Richard Ryder. Associate director is Elin Schofield, associate set designer is Will Brown, associate lighting designer is Ben Jacobs, associate sound designer is Alex Twiselton and resident director is Rasheka Christie-Carter.
Photos from Dear England at the National Theatre, by Marc Brenner
The National Theatre’s other West End transfers over the next few months include the touring production of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which is 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 February to 3 August 2024.
Currently playing at the National Theatre is a revival of Lucy Prebble’s drama The Effect until 7 October 2023, starring Paapa Essiedu and Taylor Russell.
The National Theatre announced earlier today that they will be screening their production of Othello starring Giles Terera for free to celebrate their 60th anniversary.
Ain’t Too Proud is currently playing at the Prince Edward Theatre, finishing up later this week on 17 September 2023.
Dear England will play the Prince Edward Theatre from 9 October 2023 to 13 January 2024.