Review: The Greater Game, Waterloo East

At Waterloo East Theatre, The Greater Game is a sobering reminder of the individual stories behind the statistics of our war dead, and a fitting tribute too 

“Play together, sign up together…die together “

John, Jumbo, Peggy, Mac, Spider…the names above the dressing room hooks are a simple but effective reminder that behind wartime statistics are countless lives that have been ended. Whether the hundreds of thousands of total British casualties of World War One, or the forty-two men of the Clapton Orient football team who volunteered en masse for the effort, it can be hard – overwhelming even – to remember that each one was an individual.

It is a thought that is threaded throughout the entirety of Michael Head’s play The Greater Game based on Stephen Jenkins’ book They Took The Lead. It drills down to seven key members of that football squad (now known as Leyton Orient) and deeper yet to the intense friendship between of the lads whose playing field moves from boyhood kickarounds in the North-East, to professional success in East London, to brutal conflict at the Somme. Continue reading “Review: The Greater Game, Waterloo East”