News: National Theatre announces new play by James Graham and a West End transfer of The Crucible

The National Theatre has announced Dear England, a new play by James Graham telling the story of the England men’s football team under Gareth Southgate. Directed by Rupert GooldDear England will play in the Olivier theatre from June with Joseph Fiennes cast as Gareth Southgate. Also announced today is the West End transfer of Lyndsey Turner’s critically acclaimed production of The Crucible. Tickets for both productions go on sale to the public on 9 March 2023. 

Director of the National Theatre Rufus Norris said:

‘I am delighted to be welcoming James Graham back to the National Theatre this summer with his new play. Dear England is a captivating examination into the complex psychology of the much loved “beautiful game”. I am also very pleased to announce the West End transfer of Lyndsey Turner’s highly arresting production of The Crucible to the Gielgud Theatre. Audiences were transfixed when this classic was performed in the Olivier theatre last autumn and I can’t wait to share it with more theatre-goers.’

Dear England

It’s time to change the game. The country that gave the world football has since delivered a painful pattern of loss. Why can’t England’s men win at their own game?

With the worst track record for penalties in the world, 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.

Playwright James Graham said: ‘To tell this story of the national game on the stage of the National Theatre is just the greatest thrill, if an intimidating responsibility. The experience of working on This House at the National Theatre 10 years ago changed my life as an emerging writer. Now, 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. And I’m so grateful to be surrounded by some of British theatre’s most exciting creative talent to unite around this new show.’

Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s TaleThe Mother) plays Gareth Southgate in this new play by James Graham (Best of EnemiesSherwood). Following their acclaimed productions, Tammy Faye and Ink, he reunites with director Rupert Goold (Spring AwakeningJudy) for this gripping examination of both nation and game. With set design by Es Devlin, costume design by Evie Gurney, lighting design by Jon Clark and video design by Ash J Woodward. Further casting to be announced.

The Crucible

Olivier Award-winner Lyndsey Turner’s (Under Milk Wood, Top Girls) acclaimed production of The Crucible will transfer to the West End for a strictly limited run. Set designed by Tony Award®-winner, Es Devlin (The Lehman Trilogy), this new production of Arthur Miller’s gripping parable of power and its abuse will play at Delfont Mackintosh Theatres’ Gielgud Theatre from 7 June until 2 September. Casting to be announced.

A witch hunt is beginning in Salem. Raised to be seen but not heard, a group of young women suddenly find their words have a terrible power. As a climate of fear spreads through the community, private vendettas fuel public accusations and soon the truth itself is on trial.

The creative team includes, director, Lyndsey Turner; set designer, Es Devlin; costume designer, Catherine Fay; lighting designer, Tim Lutkin; sound designer, Tingying Dong (content design); sound designer, Christopher Shutt (system design); composer and arranger, Caroline Shaw; music director and arranger, Osnat Schmool with casting by Alastair Coomer CDG and Naomi Downham. They are joined by associate director, Blythe Stewart; associate set designer, Ellie Wintour; associate lighting designer, Max Narula; fight director, Bret Yount; intimacy directors, Ita O’Brien and Louise Kempton; dialect coaches, Danièle Lydon and Hazel Holder and assistant music director, Alice Grant.

Tickets for Dear England and The Crucible go on sale to the public on 9 March 2023.  Tickets are available from £20. For further information, including details about assisted performances, please visit

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