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The Three Lions

Published 27 March 2015

What’s it all about?

A politician, a prince and a footballer walk into a hotel. It could be the start of a joke, couldn’t it? In many ways, it is.

In real life the punchline was the awarding of the 2018 football world cup to Russia. Not that funny. In William Gaminara’s play The Three Lions there are many, as David Cameron, Prince William and David Beckham chat, plot, devise and implode in their attempt to win the major tournament for Great Britain. Far funnier.

Who’s in it?

Séan Browne is remarkable as David Beckham, striking the perplexed eyebrows and winning smile as perfectly as Becks strikes a ball in a performance of confusion and delightful dim-wittedness.

Similarly Dugald Bruce-Lockhart is impressive as Cameron, his perfect clipped intonation conjuring the PM within the first sentence and filling him with passive aggressive bullying and a building sense of frustration.

Tom Davey brings a feeling of the approval-seeking, stature-undercutting overgrown teenager to Prince William.

What should I look out for?

Cameron’s monumental breakdown when the farce hits tipping point, which sees all rules of decorum thrown out the window like a pop star’s TV.

The moments where silliness-induced giggles and chortles give way to knowing nods and sighs of recognition as high level corruption and the power of the media become the most disturbing punchlines.

In a nutshell?

A slice of soccery silliness exposing a national and international power base as ugly as a mistimed Robbie Savage tackle.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@GabyRoslin That was bloody hysterical and brilliant. Absolutely loved @the3lionsplay @St_JamesTheatre I cannot recommend it highly enough. #GoSeeIt

@matharg @the3lionsplay brilliantly funny play. A great evening @St_JamesTheatre!

Will I like it?

If you know who Becks, Wills and Dave are, this is an evening of silliness and fun-poking that’ll leave you with a bigger grin than an England fan after 2001’s famous 5-1 destruction of Germany.

If you’ve a passing interest in the corruption of big time sport and the questionable relationship between politicians and journalists, you’ll grin like a FIFA representative with a pocketful of weighty brown envelopes.

If you’re David Cameron… best to give it a miss. SPOILER ALERT, you don’t come out of it well. You should probably focus on the election anyway, eh?

The Three Lions plays at the St James Theatre until 2 May. You can book tickets through the theatre website.


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