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National Theatre’s Dear England to Transfer to West End

The National Theatre has announced that its critically acclaimed, sold-out production of Dear England will transfer to the Prince Edward Theatre, in London’s West End, from 9 October 2023 for a strictly limited 14-week run. This new play by James Graham, directed by Rupert Goold, tells the story of the England men’s football team under Gareth Southgate. Tickets go on sale to the General Public on 11 August at 10am.

Joseph Fiennes (Gareth Southgate) in Dear England at the National Theatre. Photo by Marc Brenner.
Joseph Fiennes (Gareth Southgate) in Dear England at the National Theatre. Photo by Marc Brenner.

It’s time to change the game. The country that gave the world football has since delivered a painful pattern of loss. Why can’t England’s men win at their own game?

With the worst track record for penalties in the world, England manager Gareth Southgate knows he needs to open his mind and face up to the years of hurt to take team and country back to the promised land.

Commissioned by the National Theatre, Dear England was developed with the theatre’s New Work department and had its world premiere in the Olivier theatre on 20 June 2023.

National Theatre Director and Chief Executive, Rufus Norris said: “We’re delighted to be transferring Dear England to the Prince Edward Theatre. James’s brilliant play takes the topic of football and uses it as a fascinating lens on English identity, leadership, flawed masculinity, and how we see ourselves and are seen on a very different world stage. The production has been playing to packed houses all summer creating an electrifying buzz in the auditorium, with Joseph Fiennes’ pitch-perfect portrayal of Gareth Southgate. We’re so pleased that Dear England is joining the roster of NT productions transferring to the West End this year, and we’re thrilled that there will now be even more opportunities for new audiences to experience this show.

Following their acclaimed productions of Tammy Faye and Ink at the Almeida Theatre, writer James Graham (Best of Enemies, Young Vic; Sherwood, BBC) has reunited with director Rupert Goold (Spring Awakening, Almeida Theatre; Judy, 20th Century Fox) for this gripping examination of both nation and game.

Playwright James Graham said: “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 said: “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, Hulu; The Mother, Netflix) will reprise his role as Gareth Southgate, with further casting to be announced.

Goold is joined by 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 and video designer, Ash J Woodward. Casting is by Bryony Jarvis Taylor; dialect coach is Richard Ryder and associate director is Elin Schofield.

I wasn’t personally invested in the match scenes, although they are portrayed well in a show that unashamedly plays to the gallery. One doesn’t need to have any prior knowledge of the England team to follow proceedings – Fiennes’ Southgate even makes a point of stories having a beginning, middle and end – and there’s enough backstory to get to know the players if you didn’t know them already. A beautiful portrayal of the beautiful game.
Review of Dear England

Tickets for Dear England are available from £20.

Dear England in the West End is supported by American Express, the National Theatre’s Preferred Card Partner.


Dates: From 9 October 2023 – 13 January 2024
Press Night – 19 October 2023

Address: Prince Edward Theatre (a Delfont Mackintosh Theatre)
Old Compton St
London, W1D 4HS

Performances: Monday – Saturday at 7pm, with a matinee on Thursday and Saturday at 2pm*
*schedule may differ during bank holidays, check website for details

Assisted Performances:
ImageAudio Described Performance: Saturday 18 November at 2pm

BSL Interpreted Performance: Wednesday 29 November at 7pm

Captioned Performance: Saturday 4 November at 2pm

Ticket Pricing: From £20
Booking Options: Book via delfontmackintosh.co.uk / 0344 482 5151*

*Calls to Delfont Mackintosh Theatres 03 numbers cost no more than a national rate call to an 01 or 02 number (Lines open Monday – Saturday 10am – 7.30pm)

Or book via nationaltheatre.org.uk

Running Time: 2 hours 50 minutes, including an interval

Related News & Reviews Past & Present

  1. Full cast announced for the National Theatre’s Dear England
  2. Dear England by James Graham at the Olivier Theatre
  3. Dear England at Prince Edward Theatre | Review
  4. Alan Bleasdale’s Boys from the Blackstuff in West End Transfer
  5. James Fox and Jack Fox star in West End Transfer of Dear Lupin


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