Michael Greco captains a new cast that also includes Harry Potter star James Phelps as First World War stage play The Greater Game returns for a fresh London season as part of Football Remembers, commemorating the centenary of the end of World War One.
The Greater Game, written by Michael Head and based on the book They Took the Lead, tells the story of the 41 men of London club Clapton Orient, who signed up en masse to serve King and Country. This new production, directed by Adam Morley, runs 29 October to 24 November 2018, with a press night on 1 November and a special show on Remembrance Sunday, 11 November – Armistice Day.
Michael Greco plays war hero and football manager Billy Holmes alongside James Phelps, who swaps his wizard wand as Fred Weasley in the Harry Potter films for a rifle as he moves from the Battle of Hogwarts to the Battle of the Somme.
The Greater Game tells the true story of the footballers who served in World War One, focusing on lifelong friends Richard McFadden (James Phelps) and William Jonas (Steven Bush), who travelled from Newcastle to London to play football for Clapton Orient, before swapping England for France to ‘fight for King and Country’ – a fight neither one would survive. More than a story of football or war, The Greater Game is a story of love, friendship, sacrifice, triumph and loss.
Greco, Phelps and Bush are joined in the cast by: Paul Marlon (as Nolan ‘Peggy’ Evans), Scott Kyle (George Scott), Helena Doughty (Elizabeth McFadden), Victoria Gibson (Mary Jane Jonas), Jack Harding (Fred ‘Spider’ Parker), Tom Stocks (Jimmy Hugall) and author Michael Head (playing Herbert ‘Jumbo’ Reason).
The Greater Game had a previous run at Southwark Playhouse and has since been redrafted. Playwright Michael Head, whose other stage credits include Worth a Flutter, now eyeing a West End transfer after sell-out success this year at the Hope Theatre, commented:
“To get the chance to tell this story, to touch so many and bring an audience to tears and fill the theatre with laughter was a real pleasure. And this time everything is set to be even stronger than our first run.”
At Waterloo East, The Greater Game is presented as part of Football Remembers, a pan football initiative set up by the FA, Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and PFA, which will support a range of projects commemorating the Armistice and conclusion of the First World War Centenary.
The Greater Game runs from 29 October to 24 November 2018 at Waterloo East Theatre, Brad Street, London, SE1 8TN. Performances are Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, with Sunday matinees at 2pm. Tickets are priced £17.50-£22. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!