The Greater Game at Waterloo East Theatre

Saturday 29 September 2018

Off-West End - Shows

Michael Greco and James Phelps will star in The Greater Game - a true story about the footballers' battalion in World War I - due at Waterloo East Theatre from October 30 to 25 November 2018.
The Greater Game at Waterloo East Theatre

Image courtesy Stephen Jenkins and Peter Kitchen

Following a 5 star run at Southwark Playhouse in 2017, The Greater Game has been re-drafted and is set to return at Waterloo East Theatre from October 30 to November 25 2018 (schedule information and link to book tickets below).

Michael Greco will play war hero and football manager Billy Holmes alongside Harry Potter's James Phelps who is exchanging a wizard wand for a rifle as he moves from the Battle of Hogwarts to the Battle of the Somme.

Other cast members include award winning actors Paul Marlon (Communion, Dangerous Mind Of A Hooligan, Essex Boys Retribution) and Scott Kyle (Outlander, Kilo Two Bravo, The Angels Share) as well as Victoria Gibson and Helena Doughty.

All of them are lining-up under the stewardship of multi award winning director Adam Morley who will present The Greater Game as part of Football Remembers, a pan football initiative set up by the FA, Premier League, English Football League (EFL) and PFA which will support a range of projects commemorating the Armistice and conclusion of the First World War Centenary.

The Greater Game tells the true story of some of the footballers who signed up to fight in the Great War, focusing on lifelong friends Richard McFadden (James Phelps) and William Jonas (Steven Bush) who travelled from Newcastle to London to play football for Clapton Orient, before swapping England for France to 'fight for King and Country' - a fight neither one would survive.

More than a story of football or war, The Greater Game is a story of love, friendship, sacrifice, triumph and loss. 

Producer Peter Kitchen said ...

"It is very rare you get a chance to tell a true story where the families of the fallen are directly involved - even more so when it is such a touching yet funny true story.

The last show got a standing ovation every night and word of mouth led 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 honour"

The show was written by Michael Head on the back of his 5 star show 'Worth A Flutter' - currently being considered for a West End Transfer following a highly successful run at Islington's Hope Theatre.

Michael said ...

"To get the chance to tell this story, to touch so many and bring an audience to tears and fill the theatre with laugher was a real pleasure and this time everything is set to be even stronger than our first run".

About Football Remembers

The Greater Game is part of Football Remembers, a collective campaign relaunched for 2018 by the FA, Premier League, EFL and PFA enabling English football to collectively mark the culmination of the First World War Centenary and the Armistice commemorations.


Based on the book They Took The Lead by Stephen Jenkins, The Greater Game tells the true story of the 42 men from Clapton Orient who signed up En Masse to fight in the great war focusing on the bond of two life long friends Richard MacFadden and William Jonas who met near Newcastle aged 7 before moving to London to play football then enlisting to fight in the Battle Of The Somme with tragic consequences.


Billy Holmes - Michael Greco 

Richard McFadden - James Phelps

Elizabeth McFadden - Helena Doughty 

William Jonas - Steven Bush

Mary Jane Jonas - Victoria Gibson

George Scott - Scott Kyle 

Fred 'Spider' Parker - Jack Harding

Nolan 'Peggy' Evans - Paul Marlon

Jimmy Hugall - Tom Stocks

Herbert 'Jumbo' Reason - Michael Head


Author: Michael Head
Director: Adam Morley
Designer: Lauren Flynn
Production: Stephen Jenkins and Peter Kitchen


Waterloo East Theatre
Brad Street


From: Tuesday 30 October 2018

Closes: Sunday 25 November 2018


Previews: £17.50

Standard: £22

Concessions: £19

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