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The Red Lion Review – Live Theatre

Photo Credits: Feature Image -Live theatre. Others: Keith Pattison

Red Lion Review

On the surface, The Red Lion is a play about football, tactics and rituals surrounding ‘the beautiful game’. When we look deeper there’s a more powerful message…
Patrick Marber’s The Red Lion is set in the locker room of a small town, semi-professional football team. This three-act masterpiece allows us to witness the personal sacrifices that are necessary when heading up the ranks to the top.

The first characters to appear are Yates (John Bowler), a former legendary player, retired coach and now locker room cleaner is in constant contrast with Kidd, played by DCI Banks star Stephen Tompkinson, a loud mouth who desires to become a wheeler and dealer – but he doesn’t have the finances to carry it off. Their shifting dynamic throughout is a gripping insight into modern day masculinity.…
We are then introduced to a young player named Jordan, played by rising star Dean Bone. His pending professional football career acts as the emotional fulcrum throughout. Jordan’s personal story unfolds as it’s revealed he suffers from a dodgy knee, a dysfunctional family life and a constantly conflicted moral compass.
You don’t have to be a football fan to appreciate every moment of this production, as at the core of this story there is a valuable insight into modern society and the art of winning.
Writer Patrick Marber said, “To an extent the play is dramatizing something about England; that there is one strain of thought which is about community, tolerance and belonging, and there is a whole counter trajectory about what England could or should be; that England is a business.”
This is one of the best productions Live Theatre has brought to the stage of late. Showing now till May 6th 2017.
Verdict: Strong physical performances and a heartfelt message score big in Patrick Marber’s triumphant piece.
4 Stars

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