Theatre News

Dear England confirms West End transfer with Joseph Fiennes

The National Theatre’s hit production is going into Extra Time!

Joseph Fiennes as Gareth Southgate in a scene from Dear England at the National Theatre
Joseph Fiennes as Gareth Southgate in Dear England, © Marc Brenner

The National Theatre has confirmed a West End transfer for its smash hit production of Dear England.

James Graham’s play, which tells the story of the England men’s football team under the leadership of Gareth Southgate, is scheduled to play its final performance at the Olivier Theatre this Friday, 11 August. However, the piece will now run for a strictly limited 14-week engagement in the West End. It was awarded the full five stars by WhatsOnStage’s Sarah Crompton, who described the production as being “utterly absorbing, full of twists and turns, vivid characters, proper conflicts, and great lines.”

Graham, who broke the news on BBC Breakfast this morning, commented: “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 added: “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.”

Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale) is set to reprise his role as Gareth Southgate, with further casting still to be announced.

The creative team also includes 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, video designer Ash J Woodward, dialect coach Richard Ryder and associate director Elin Schofield. Casting is by Bryony Jarvis Taylor.

The cast of Dear England at the National Theatre
The cast of Dear England cast at the National Theatre, © Marc Brenner

Dear England will run at the Prince Edward Theatre from 9 October 2023 to 13 January 2024, with a press night scheduled for 19 October. Tickets are on sale below.

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Dear England

Final performance: 13 January 2024