James Phelps to Star in New London Play
James Phelps will star in new London play The Greater Game in the role of Richard McFadden, a war hero and star footballer. The play is based on They Took the Lead, a book by Stephen Jenkins, which tells the true story of 42 footballers in England who enlisted in the Great War.
The story focuses on the connection between two friends and footballers who gave up their sport and ultimately their lives in the Battle of the Somme, the bloodiest battle in history. Richard McFadden, played by Phelps, and William Jones, played by Steven Bush, met at the age of seven and traveled from Newcastle to London together to play for Clapton Orient. The two eventually decide to sign up for the war and head to France in order to fight for their country. The Greater Game tells an incredible story of “love friendship, triumph, and loss.”
Phelps, who has only done a few small acting roles since Harry Potter, is thrilled to be cast as McFadden. The script really resonated with him with just the first read through.
When the director sent me the script I read through it and loved it; it genuinely made me laugh and cry. I couldn’t believe it was a true story and the script captures both the banter of the dressing room and harsh truths about what life must [have] been like back then.
The Greater Game, directed by Adam Morley, will be presented as part of Football Remembers, an initiative set up a variety of soccer leagues to support projects commemorating the Armistice and conclusion of the First World War centenary. It will run at the Waterloo East Theatre from October 30 to November 25.
Producer Peter Kitchen commented on the success of the show’s run at the Southwark Playhouse in 2017 and how great of an opportunity it is to tell the story again to new audiences.
The last show got a standing ovation every night and word of mouth lead to over 4,000 people seeing the first production, which we are all very proud of, so to get the chance to tell this amazing true story one more time and do justice to the men and woman who sacrificed so much 100 years ago is a real honor.
Some of the shows have already sold out, so if you plan on seeing Phelps in this incredible new play, you should get your tickets soon. You can find more information about the play and buy your tickets here.