Matthew Le Tissier
Matthew Le Tissier

Ex-Southampton and England footballer Matthew Le Tissier will make his acting debut, alongside former teammate Francis Benali, in the Nuffield Theatre production of The Saints, featuring as themselves in cameo roles in pre-recorded film segments.

Matthew Dunster directs Nuffield's latest new commission, written by Luke Barnes and the cast will include Scarlett Alice Johnson, Cary Crankson, Claire-Louise Cordwell, Harry Hepple, Tendayi Jembere, Carl Prekopp, Matthew Raymond and Will Stokes.

Alice Johnson, best known for playing Vicki Fowler in EastEnders, will play the role of love interest, Emily opposite Crankson who leads the cast as Kenny Glynn.

Matt Le Tissier and Francis Benali are two of Southampton Football Club's most famous ex-players, fondly remembered by fans for their loyalty and long service to the club, both of whom played from the mid-1980s until the early 2000s.

The Saints, a play about the highs and lows of following Southampton Football Club and the pivotal role of football within regional cities across the country, will premiere at Nuffield Playing Field, a specially built pop-up theatre which combines outdoor stadium with Jacobean theatre. The production explores the unequivocally theatrical experience of attending a football match, from the sense of spectacle and occasion to the intimacy and power of crowd behaviour and the sense of belonging and community this creates. It is the flagship production of the Art at the Heart festival, which Nuffield is curating this summer, in collaboration with other Southampton arts organisations.