Real Life Courtroom Drama!

““If I’m being honest…”

Rebekah Vardy

“I would hope you’re being honest, since you’re in the witness box at the High Court,”

Rooney’s lawyer, Mr Sherborne

Verna Vyas as the Judge and Lucy May Barker as Rebecca Vardy. (Photo: Pamela Raith)

Rarely have I enjoyed a verbatim play based on original transcripts but the Wagatha Christie play has it all, celebrities, conflict, sexual disclosures and football pundits! It is Colleen Rooney (Laura Dos Santos) complete with medical boot for a broken ankle who explains that Rebeka Vardy (Lucy May Barker) married to Jamie Vardy, one of Wayne Rooney’s England Football team mates, brought the libel case against her. Vardy claimed that Colleen had falsely accused her of breaching her privacy by selling stories to the Sun newspaper.

Colleen had set up a sting operation by only disclosing certain fake stories on her Instagram account to one person and then seeing where those stories went. What makes this play so much fun is the presentation of two football pundits, Halema Hussain and Nathan McMullen both armed with hand held microphones. Missing from the trial is Caroline Watt, Vardy’s agent. Caroline Watt is excused from giving verbal evidence and curiously her phone with the relevant WhatsApp message record has ended up lost on a ferry in the North Sea. Those same messages on Vardy’s phone were accidentally lost during an attempted transfer to her legal team.  

Cast in The Wagatha Christie Trial. (Photo: Pamela Raith)

After a reference to the beautiful game, Rebekah Vardy is called to the stand but first she composes herself slowly and with a determined and deliberate body language, then strides assertively to the witness box. The barrister for Colleen Rooney, David Sherborne (Tom Turner) introduces a huge bundle of papers, using Rebekah Vardy’s early newspaper column about the alleged limitation of Peter André’s manhood to prove that she is no stranger to nasty newspaper disclosures. There is conversation with Caroline Watt (Halema Hussain) where Vardy discusses a news story and she says she doesn’t want it coming back on her. Caroline Watt says, “I could do it!” Rebekah Vardy replies , “Just Do It!”

The Vardy evidence is a joke a minute as she gets tied up in her version of the truth. There is an argument about whether Jamie Vardy was told during the Euros in October 2019 to curb his wife’s press disclosures. The appearance of Wayne Rooney (Nathan McMullen) is a scene stealing moment as he flexes his shoulder muscles and sticks out his chest to give evidence. Jonathan Broadbent as Hugh Tomlinson QC cross examines Colleen Rooney and as he makes a good point, he celebrates like a goal scorer with arm punching and glee. Jamie Vardy (also played by Nathan McMullen) defends his wife in evidence but Mrs Justice Steyn (Verna Vyas) is unconvinced and we hear a part of her verdict.

Cast in the Wagatha Christie Trial. (Photo: Pamela Raith)

There is a wonderful voyeurism about hearing the text messages between Vardy and Watt (Halema Hussain) read out with expressive force and actually I’d like to go back to this play and introduce it to others. What makes this so much more fun than the televised versions of the trial is the context of football, the green carpet with centre markings, the stands for the witnesses and barristers and above all the physical gestures, lighting and noise of the beautiful game with ugly people. 

Haley Hussain and Nathan McMullen as the Pundits. (photo: Pamela Raith)

Production Notes

Vardy v Rooney, The Wagatha Christie Trial

Adapted by Liv Hennessy

Directed by Lisa Spirling



Jonathan Broadbent

Laura Dos Santos

Lucy May Barker

Nathan McMullen

Tom Turner

Halema Hussain

Verna Vyas


Director: Lisa Spirling

Designer: Polly Sullivan

Lighting Designer: Johanna Town

Sound Designer and Composer: Richard Hammarton

Movement Consultant: Mateus Daniel


Running Time: Two hours 10 minutes with an interval

Booking to 20th May 2023


Ambassadors Theatre

West Street

London WC2H 9ND

Phone: 03330 096 690


Tube Leicester Square

Then on tour to 


26th – 27th May 2023      New Victoria Theatre, Woking

28th May 2023                Liverpool Empire

30th – 31st  May 2023     Southend Palace

5th – 7th June 2023         Gaiety Theatre Dublin

9th – 11th  June 2023      The Lowry, Salford

15th – 17th June 2023     Brighton Theatre Royal


Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge at the 

at the Ambassadors Theatre

on 13th April 2023