‘Dear England’ set to expand and return to National Theatre

‘Dear England’ set to expand and return to National Theatre
Courtesy of National Theatre.
Must see  -   Theatre

The National Theatre of London is home to some of the world’s best theatre offerings, representing global and local stories year-round. One of the UK’s most iconic theatre hubs, it presents works of universal acclaim as well as theatre that speaks directly to the culture of the region. Dear England, the Olivier-winning football extravaganza, is one such work and is set to return to the National Theatre in March 2025.


Dear England is written by playwright James Graham and directed by Rupert Goold, its first run opening June of last year. An interesting mix of sports fan-fiction and documentary theatre, it examines the lives and dynamics of England’s star football teams centred around real-life team manager Gareth Southgate. A composite of information gleaned from extensive interviews as well as fully fictionalized accounts, it’s theatre that gives new meaning to the term “fantasy football.” Met with critical acclaim, it won Best New Play at the Laurence Olivier Awards this year.


What is of particular unique interest with this production, even for those of us who might not be dedicated sports fans, is the organic nature of the production. With the ever-evolving nature of the sports sector annually, the creative team intends to reflect the circumstances of the 2024 season in next year’s production. It’s rare to see such an active account of recent history evolve within a production. In a strange way it takes from one of the most unique forms of live storytelling and sportsmanship, professional wrestling.


Without a doubt, Dear England captured the heart of the nation with ease. A combination of one of the region’s most favourite pastimes with its strong theatrical tradition has made for something unmistakably English. And if the interest remains high for this production, it could be that James Graham’s creation becomes a living catalogue of all things football.