National Theatre announces the return of its smash-hit production of Dear England by James Graham

This Olivier Award-winning ‘Best New Play’ will return to the National Theatre in Spring 2025, followed by a 4-week run at The Lowry, Salford


The National Theatre announces today that its smash-hit production of Dear England will return to the Olivier theatre from 10 March to 24 May 2025 followed by a four-week run at its Theatre Nation Partner, The Lowry in Salford, from 29 May to 29 June 2025.


James Graham’s Olivier Award-winning play, directed by the Almeida Theatre’s Artistic Director, Rupert Goold, tells the story of the England men’s football team under Gareth Southgate. As the nation watches the drama unfold at this summer’s UEFA EURO 2024, Graham’s critically acclaimed play will evolve to include this key European championship – continuing to examine the crucial role the England team and manager play in English society.

Tickets for both the National Theatre and The Lowry will go on sale to the General Public at 10am on Friday 14 June 2024, coinciding with the start of the UEFA EURO 2024 tournament.

Director of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris, said:

‘Dear England is a captivating examination of football, leadership and English identity that has already resonated with so many people, and we now have the unique opportunity of restaging it with a script which will reflect the outcome from this summer’s Euros. In bringing the narrative right up to 2025, we acknowledge how pertinent and urgent the work is – a living, breathing play that cuts straight to the heart of our nation’s psyche. James and Rupert have created such aspecial show, and we’re thrilled that even more audiences in London and Greater Manchester will have the chance to experience it.’

Playwright James Graham said:

‘To continue the life of Dear England feels like coming top of the group and moving onto the knockout stages – it’s genuinely thrilling, and I’m so grateful to all the audiences who supported the show. Knowing that we welcomed thousands of people who had never see a play before was a huge honour for us all, but also a responsibility. We hope to continue that mission in London and now in Salford too.’

CEO of The Lowry, Julia Fawcett said:

‘The National Theatre is one of our founding partners – and over the last twenty-five years they have played an incredibly important role – helping develop our programme and build our audiences for world class drama. It’s a partnership that continues to grow and develop and this run of Dear England is a unique and incredibly special event. With football being so integral to the whole culture of the North West, we know that this production is going to really resonate with our audiences. But first…..this summer’s Euros!’

Dear England reunites writer James Graham (Punch, Nottingham Playhouse; Sherwood, BBC) with director Rupert Goold (Patriots; Tammy Faye, Broadway) for this gripping examination of both nation and game. Goold will be joined by set designer, Es Devlin; costume designer, Evie

Gurney; lighting designer, Jon Clark; co-movement directors, Ellen Kane and Hannes Langolf; co-sound designers, Dan Balfour and Tom Gibbons,and video designer, Ash J Woodward. Dialect coach is Richard Ryder and associate director is Elin Schofield.

The country that gave the world football has since delivered a painful pattern of loss. Why can’t England’s men win at their own game?

The team has the worst track record for penalties in the world, and manager Gareth Southgate knows he needs to open his mind and face up to the years of hurt to take team and country back to the promised land.

Casting to be announced.

Dear England was originally commissioned by the National Theatre and developed with the theatre’s New Work department. It had its world premiere in the Olivier theatre on 20 June 2023. Following a sold-out run, Dear England transferred to the Prince Edward Theatre, in London’s West End, from 9 October 2023 to 13 January 2024 where it broke box office records. Dear England was subsequently released to cinemas through National Theatre Live on 24 January 2024 and has been screened almost 2,500 times across the UK. It will also be screened for free at this year’s River Stage on Saturday 27 July. The BBC has also recently commissioned a four-part drama of Dear England based on the stage production for BBC One and BBC iPlayer.