This weekend, we officially mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. Adam Morley’s new production of Michael Head’s The Greater Game is one of the theatre productions marking the occasions and several critics have noted just what a “fitting tribute” it is. We’ve rounded up some of our favourite review highlights below. Time to get booking!
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 (now Leyton Orient), who signed up en masse to serve King and Country. This new production, directed by Adam Morley, continues until 24 November 2018, with a special show on Remembrance Sunday this weekend, 11 November – Armistice Day.
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, this is a story of love, friendship, sacrifice, triumph and loss.
Michael Greco plays war hero and football manager Billy Holmes. Also in the cast are: 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. 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!