Following the success of Rapture Bites Lunchtime Theatre, Michael Emans will direct Patrick Marber’s Olivier Award nominated play The Red Lion starring Brookside’s John McArdle.
It will tour to 16 venues in Scotland – including a date at Motherwell Theatre on May 20 – ending with a week’s run at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow.
The Red Lion FC is an English non-league side that has dreams of the big time.
However, the club’s manager, Kidd, will stop at nothing to realise his own ambitions of achieving money and fame. So, when young Jordan, who ‘plays like a God’, joins the club, Kidd sees his golden opportunity.
One man stands in his way – the kit-man, Yates – club legend and footballing ‘hero’ – has other ideas. A ‘Clash of the Titans’ ensues between Yates and Kidd over the future of Jordan and the football club.
Award-winning writer Patrick Marber’s hit play unfolds like a Greek Tragedy, transcending ‘the beautiful game’, in a tale of heroism, hubris and handballs! The Red Lion offers a funny, profound and unmissable night at the theatre.
It stars Emmerdale and Brookside star John McArdle, Brendan Charleson (Coronation Street) and rising young star Harry MacMullen.
Patrick Marber said: “I am thrilled Rapture Theatre are giving ’The Red Lion’ its Scottish premiere and very excited to see this terrific cast performing in a country that loves football with a passion.”
Director Michael Emans said: “Having been a huge fan of Patrick Marber since I was at drama school, it is a fulfilment of a long held ambition to direct one of his plays. Patrick, in his writing combines humour, pathos and a sensitivity to the human experience that is deeply moving.
“When I first read The Red Lion in 2017, I knew that I had to direct it: the way Patrick used the milieu of the local football club as a microcosm of the wider world, to explore the themes of collective ethic versus individual ambition and the way the play articulated the need and desire to both be heroic and to have heroes in your life, I found to be totally compelling.
“We seem to live in world of villains both political and otherwise so a play that focuses on heroes, tragic heroism and the hubris of the individual feels prescient. Like all the best tragedies it also very very funny. I hope that audiences, like me, can fall in love with this wonderful play.”
Alongside the production Rapture will be running a series of post-show discussion panels.
Rapture is working in partnership with Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) to help raise awareness of issues such as racism, sexism and bullying, which can still occur within the game of football.
These post-show events will offer a great opportunity to engage with community groups and audiences and promote the significant work Show Racism The Red Card undertake, as well as discussing the themes raised within the play. Rapture wants to provide an insight into the philosophy, passion and behind the scenes workings of a football club.
The panels will consist of director Michael Emans, members of the cast and invited guests from local football clubs and SRTRC.
Catch the Red Lion at Motherwell Theatre on May 20. For tickets, visit Rapture Theatre