A play written by comedian Patrick Marber and inspired by his position as director of a non-league football club has made its debut in the West End.
The Red Lion has been receiving rave reviews since it first showed at the National’s Dorfman Theatre in June.
The show is billed as “a haunting and humorous new play about the dying romance of the great English game – and the tender, savage love that powers it”.
It focuses on non-league football, away from the wealth and the television cameras, and tells the tale of a young player touched with brilliance who arrives from nowhere, an ambitious manager determined to make him his own and the old soul of the club that still has dreams of glory.
The Financial Times described The Red Lion as “Beautiful. Delicate. A tender, very touching play about hope, and above all, talent”, while Time Out’s review read: “Patrick Marber finds the back of the net with this dark comedy. Tender and beautifully wrought.”
Nationally, Patrick Marber is best known for his 1997 relationship drama Closer and helping to create Alan Partridge in On the Hour and The Day Today.
Locally, though, he may be better known for being one of Rooks125 - a group of six supporters who worked hard to take the ailing Lewes Football Club into community ownership.
On July 8, 2010, Lewes FC was officially transferred out of private ownership into a member-based Community Benefit Society called Lewes Community Football Club, consisting of benefactors and members of the former Management Committee.
The six members of Rooks125, including Mr Marber, formed the inaugural Executive Board.
To book tickets to see the play, visit www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/the-red-lion.
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