James Phelps is used to acting in big battles, his character Fred Weasley met his demise in the battle of Hogwarts. Now James swaps a Wizard’s wand for a Lee Enfield rifle in WW1 play The Greater Game, which tells the true story of a group of footballers who fought in one of the bloodiest battles in human history the Battle of the Somme.
This amazing true story follows Richard McFadden (played by James Phelps) and his life-long friend William Jonas, as they travel from the North-East to London to play football for Clapton Orient and then London to France to fight in the Battle of the Somme, a battle neither of them were to survive.
The Greater Game is based on the book They Took The Lead by Stephen Jenkins which tells the story of the 41 men of Clapton Orient, all of whom signed up en masse to serve King and Country
The play is about far more than just football and war though, explains writer Michael Head, it covers every aspect of human nature and life. It is about friendship, love, loss and the flag waving patriotism at the start of the war to the desperate reality that followed. The Stage called the shows first run ‘Touching and Engaging’ which may be expected, but the show was also acclaimed for its humour – ‘I didn’t want to write two hours of depression’ explained the writer ‘I wanted to lace the show with humour so when the powerful moments land they hit all the harder’.
The play runs from 30th October until 25th November with a special show on Remembrance Sunday, 11th November – Armistice Day. Tickets are available via https://www.waterlooeast.co.uk and the shows full casting will be released soon.