Three Lions: Footy Farce At St James Theatre

By James FitzGerald Last edited 32 months ago
Three Lions: Footy Farce At St James Theatre ★★★★☆ 4

The Three Lions CREDIT Geraint Lewis
Tom Davey, Sean Browne and Dugald Bruce-Lockhart as Wills, Becks and Dave in Three Lions. Photo by Geraint Lewis.

Londonist Rating: ★★★★☆

If these walls could talk. Specifically, the walls of the Swiss hotel room in which David Beckham, David Cameron and Prince William holed up for 48 hours in December 2010, as they finalised England’s bid to FIFA to host the 2018 World Cup.

The Three Lions, William Gaminara’s Edinburgh Fringe-tested satire, shows that although it might be the people’s game, football can only do so much to bring together three different personalities from different backgrounds. So as they prepare their pitch to FIFA, the East End free-kick specialist, the smooth Tory premier and the second in line to the throne discover that they’ve got more impasses to head off than just the shady politics of world football’s governing body.

When combed and fake-tattooed, Sean Browne is not only an uncanny soundalike but a visual dead-ringer for Golden Balls, and Tom Davey unleashes a gangly impersonation of a jovial, prankster Wills. The PM gets the roughest treatment: Dugald Bruce-Lockheart’s depiction is of a disingenuous PR salesman with a condescending temperament and empty pretensions of Aston Villa fandom. These are crude, shallow caricatures of the men’s public personas. And thank goodness for that.

But each teammate is making a real effort: the slow-witted Becks to prove to FIFA voters that footy is in England’s “D and A” (and to complete his Lego Taj Mahal set; his set, not Brooklyn’s); the Prince to work out that Lords, the Oval and Edgbaston aren’t quite the stadia the bidders have in mind for a kick-around; and Dave to keep his eye on the ball while fending off calls from “Nick” and “Rebekah”.

They will learn, as all Englishmen learn from time to time, that football is once again not “coming home” — and by the time this odd triple has endured bursting bladders, Boris Johnson and a belligerent hotelier who doesn’t know who any of them are, it is farce which has run out as a convincing seven-nil victor.

The Three Lions runs until 2 May 2015 at St James Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA. Tickets from £15. Londonist saw this performance with a complimentary ticket.

Last Updated 30 March 2015