The Greater Game
Waterloo East Theatre
Reviewed – 1st November 2018
“It is incredibly important that such a story as this is told on a theatrical platform”
Based on the book ‘They Took the Lead’ by Stephen Jenkins, The Greater Game is a play written by Michael Head and directed by Adam Morley that follows the true story of the players of what was then called Clapton Orient football club, who as a team fought together in WW1. The production serves as part of the commemorations for the centenary of the end of the Great War as a portion of the ‘Football Remembers’ project.
The backdrop on the stage hosts a number of pictures of the real men involved in the story, each with a small poppy attached to the frame which is both symbolic but also a little confusing given the context of the majority of the play being either before or during the war. This gave the feeling that the design and directorial concept of the piece as a whole wasn’t fully realised. Whilst it is clear what the intention was behind certain decisions, it felt at times a little unfinished and could definitely have gone further. This at times felt like it took away the impact of the story, which in itself is incredibly touching, rather than serving it. Whilst the acting in general was of a decent standard, it was often let down by some of the character’s accents which needed to be a little more refined.
It is incredibly important that such a story as this is told on a theatrical platform, and it is indeed presented with a great deal of respect and sensitivity. This was evident particular with the actors who, by playing characters based on real people, wished to portray them as realistic as possible. It is a story which must not be forgotten, and this is always alluded to throughout the piece.
Reviewed by Claire Minnitt
The Greater Game
Waterloo East Theatre until 24th November
Previously reviewed at this venue: