Ex-Brookside star heads up award winning football drama at Fife theatre

John Mc Ardle in rehearsals for The Red Lion  (Pic: Infinite Blue Design)
John Mc Ardle in rehearsals for The Red Lion (Pic: Infinite Blue Design)

Football fans can look forward to a stage drama that will strike a very familiar chord.

The Red Lion is an award-winning drama packed with some big names.

And it’s coming to the Adam Smith Theatre in June as part of a tour.

Written by Patrick Marber, it tells the story of the battle for the heart and soul of a small, non league team run by a manager who sees pots of cash in his young star striker.

Standing in his way to keep the club true to its community roots is the veteran kit man, and so begins an epic battle.

It’s funny, moving and will resonate deeply with all Raith Rovers’ fans who worked so hard to save their club just over a decade ago.

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It features former Brookside star John McArdle – he played the legendary Billy Corkhill – not to mention roles in Emmerdale and Prime Suspect to pick out just two highlights from a long career in TV and stage.

He is joined by Brendan Charleson, last seen in Coronation Street, and rising young star Harry MacMullen.

The show which lasts an appropriate 90 minutes, will be followed by an on stage Q&A which will feature the cast and some well-kent fitba faces from Kirkcaldy!

It’ll discuss the issues raised as well as promote work of Show Racism the Red Card.

Director Michael Emans said: “Having been a huge fan of Patrick Marber since I was at drama school, it is a fulfilment of a long held ambition to direct one of his plays.

“ Patrick, in his writing combines humour, pathos and a sensitivity to the human experience that is deeply moving.

“When I first read The Red Lion in 2017, I knew that I had to direct it.

“The way Patrick used the milieu of the local football club as a microcosm of the wider world, to explore the themes of collective ethic versus individual ambition and the way the play articulated the need and desire to both be heroic and to have heroes in your life, I found to be totally compelling.

“We seem to live in world of villains both political and otherwise so a play that focuses on heroes, tragic heroism and the hubris of the individual feels prescient.

“Like all the best tragedies it is also very very funny! I hope that audiences, like me, can fall in love with this wonderful play!”

> The Red Lion is on stage on Saturday, June 15. More details and ticket info at www.onfife.com