Daniel Mays, Peter Wight and Calvin Demba star in The Red Lion, the fifth play by Patrick Marber to premiere at the National Theatre.

Focusing on small-time semi-pro football, a world away from the wealth and the television cameras, the production charts the story of a brilliant young player who arrives from nowhere and an ambitious manager who is determined to make him his own.

A tale about the dying romance of the great English game – and the tender, savage love that powers it – The Red Lion follows in the footsteps of Marber’s Evening Standard Theatre Award-winning comedy Dealer’s Choice, the Olivier Award-winning Closer, Howard Katz and The Musicians, all of which have premiered at the South Bank venue in the past 20 years.

Mrs Biggs’ Mays returns to the London stage following recent performances in The Same Deep Water As Me at the Donmar Warehouse and Mojo in the West End, Demba was last seen in The Wolf From The Door at the Royal Court, and Wight’s credits include the Donmar Warehouse’s Trelawny Of The Wells, which was adapted by Marber and starred Mays, and In The Republic Of Happiness at the Royal Court.

The production is directed by Ian Rickson, whose recent credits include Electra at the Old Vic, and Mojo and Old Times in the West End.

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