Joseph Fiennes to play Gareth Southgate in ‘Dear England’

James Graham’s new play will tell the story of the England men’s football team under the current manager. The show opens at the National Theatre.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Theatre’s coming home! Joseph Fiennes will play Gareth Southgate in the world premiere of James Graham’s new play, Dear England. Dear England begins previews in the National’s Olivier Theatre on 10 June, with an opening night on 20 June, and performances to 11 August.

Dear England is a captivating examination into the complex psychology of the much loved “beautiful game,” said National Theatre director, Rufus Norris.

The Dear England play sees Gareth Southgate transform the football team. Press material states: “Gareth Southgate knows he needs to open his mind and face up to the years of hurt to take team and country back to the promised land.”

“To tell this story of the national game on the stage of the National Theatre is just the greatest thrill if an intimidating responsibility. With Dear England, to be given the opportunity to shine a light on another public institution in the form of the England men's football team is, I know, an exciting opportunity. What Gareth Southgate has attempted in his quiet cultural reform of England football I find epic and deeply moving,” said playwright James Graham.

Joseph Fiennes will play Gareth Southgate, with further casting to be announced. Rupert Goold directs, with set design by Es Devlin, costume design by Evie Gurney, lighting design by Jon Clark, and video design by Ash J Woodward.

The National Theatre’s current season includes Standing at the Sky’s Edge, Phaedra, and Romeo and Julie.

Dear England is at the National Theatre.

Photo credit: Dear England (Photo courtesy of production)

Originally published on

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