The world premiere of Dear England by James Graham (Best of Enemies) opens June 20 at the National Theatre's Olivier. Telling the story of England's men's football team and team manager Gareth Southgate, played by Joseph Fiennes (Othello, Shakespeare in Love, The Handmaid's Tale), the new play began previews June 10. The limited engagement runs through August 11.
Fiennes is joined in the cast by Gina McKee (My Policeman, Bodyguard) as Pippa Grange, Josh Barrow as Jordan Pickford, Gunnar Cauthery as Gary Lineker, Will Close as Harry Kane, Crystal Condie as Alex Scott, Will Fletcher as Jordan Henderson, Sean Gilder as Sam Allardyce, Darragh Hand as Marcus Rashford, John Hodgkinson as Greg Clarke, Adam Hugill as Harry Maguire, Albert Magashi as Jadon Sancho, Kel Matsena as Raheem Sterling, Abdul Sessay as Bukayo Saka, Lewis Shepherd as Dele Alli, Paul Thornley as Mike Webster, Tony Turner as Greg Dyke, and Ryan Whittle as Eric Dier.
Completing the company are Nick Barclay, Tashinga Bepete, Will Harrison-Wallace, and Miranda Heath, with cast members playing additional roles in the ensemble.
National Theatre Director Rufus Norris described Dear England in a statement as "a captivating examination into the complex psychology of the much loved 'beautiful game.'"
Rupert Goold (Spring Awakening) directs the production which features set design by Es Devlin, costume design by Evie Gurney, lighting design by Jon Clark, movement direction by Ellen Kane and Hannes Langolf, sound design by Dan Balfour and Tom Gibbons, and video design by Ash J Woodward. Casting is by Bryony Jarvis-Taylor and Richard Ryder serves as dialect coach.
The National Theatre has partnered with Football Beyond Borders (FBB), an organization which works to help young people from areas of socio-economic disadvantage who are passionate about football re-engage in schooling and finish with the skills and grades needed to successfully transition to adulthood. Through the partnership, Dear England and FBB are publishing a Zine featuring letters that address themes of the play through the perspective o young people living in England today. Other opportunities include free tickets for FBB young people, and workshops centered around Dear England.