The Lechlade Festival
The Lechlade Festival
Arts & Culture
The Red Lion Is Coming Home to Bristol Old Vic This Feb

By Tyler Ody


The Red Lion is back in the game!
                                Bristol Old Vic’s production of The Red Lion goes into rehearsals as it prepares to make an epic comeback after its postponed run.
                                Originally due to open in March 2020, it will finally have its press night nearly 2 years after it was postponed just hours before curtain-up, as a consequence of the UK’s lockdown. 
                                Following a city-wide call-out to find an aspiring local actor to play the role of emerging footballer ‘Jordan’, Thomas McGee joins Bristol legend Joe Sims (Broadchurch) and Bristol City icon and actor David Lloyd in Patrick Marber’s three-hander, exploring the passions and conflict that run deep in non-league, semi-pro football.
                                In a world removed from the wealth and television cameras, a non-league team are struggling to make ends meet. So, when a gifted young player arrives out of nowhere, it’s the opportunity everyone’s been waiting for. For the kit man, Yates, this brilliant player will restore the declining fortunes of the whole team. But the ambitious manager, Kidd, is determined to make him his own…
                                Director Ed Viney said:
                                “The cast are just thrilled to be getting the chance to finally share this brilliant play with Bristol. It feels like we’ve been awarded a last minute penalty and we’re determined to make the most of it!”
                                Speaking back in 2020, Joe Sims said about the production:
                                “I wanted to be involved in theatre that genuinely attracts the interests of people that might not ordinarily go or think it’s not for them. We have tens of thousands of people who watch City, Rovers and loads of semi-pro teams weekly and they’re the people I want to bring to the theatre. So to people not used to coming to the theatre or indeed people who’ve not been before, I say this play is more Bristolian than the Suspension Bridge! I promise, you’re in the right place, you’re in the right hands, and I promise you a proper good night!”

Born and raised in Patchway, Bristol, Thomas McGee began playing football at the age of 6 for a local team. He graduated from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in 2017 where his roles included Richard Burbage in Shakespeare’s Sister, David Spear in The Funfair and Francis Nurse in The CrucibleThe Red Lion will be his professional stage debut.

Joe Sims plays Kidd. Joe has had a long-standing relationship with Bristol Old Vic, having trained as part of the Young Company in 1994 before going on to host Bristol Old Vic’s annual Open Stage as a champion of accessible theatre and creative opportunities for everyone. He is best-known for playing Nigel Carter in ITV’s BAFTA winning drama Broadchurch but has appeared extensively on television and radio, including Britannia (Sky/Amazon), The First Team (BBC), Plebs (ITV), Agatha Raisin (Sky), Father Brown and Casualty. Joe won an Offie award for “People’s Favourite Male Performance” for his role in As We Forgive Them at the Arcola Theatre while other theatre credits include Three Sisters (Southwark Playhouse), Solid Air (Plymouth Theatre Royal) and Penguin (Arcola Theatre).

The cast is completed by David Lloyd as Yates. David is best known for his role as Graeme in Maid Marian and her Merry Men, which he adapted for the Bristol Old Vic stage in 1994. His theatre credits include The Odd Couple (York Theatre Royal), Man of the Moment (Salisbury Playhouse) and Great Expectations (Birmingham Rep). David has also written over 65 episodes for BBC’s Doctors and was the match-day announcer at Ashton Gate for Bristol City Football Club.

The Red Lion was originally due to play in The Weston Studio from Wed 11 – Sat 28 Mar 2020.
It will now run from Thu 3 – Sat 19 Feb 2022. 

Listings Information
The Red Lion
3-19 Feb
The Weston Studio

PWYC: £8 / £12 / £20 
Ages 14+

Signed performances available

The Red Lion | Bristol Old Vic | 0117 987 7877