A new era is upon us, and with this, many questions arise. Forced to craft new ways of living, thinking, working -post 2020, we’re at a transformational time on a national, as well as global level. Questioning what ‘England’ is and what it means in early 21st century Britain, The National Theatre have bravely responded to this with a series of works, Dear England a powerful reminder of the power of football, and how through the ‘beautiful game’, we can tackle ugly, harsh truths on a wider scale.
A look more so into the vision of England’s current manager Gareth Southgate, Dear England ushers us into a world whereby the power of the collective and looking after our well-being are considered paramount – a stark contrast to the egotistical/individualistic nature of the game in the old world. Fictionalised clashes between Southgate’s innovate notion of delving deeper into the psyche and emotional nature of each football player at odds with fellow management – these clashes comical yet fascinating to watch transpire. Es Devlin’s pristine digitised set interchanging between changing rooms and the grandiosity of the football stadiums the team face their various opponents in – this Match of the Day type aesthetic anchoring Dear England in the now, making the show instantly familiar and exciting to watch.