The Three Lions

Posted on: 08 April 2015 by Laurence Green

If you ever wondered what happens when a footballer, a prince and a Prime Minister were in a hotel room together, then William Gaminara’s timely comedy The Three Lions (St. James’s Theatre) provides the answer.

The Three Lions

This play offers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of diplomacy in action, revealing what really went on between David Cameron, David Beckham and Prince William in a Swiss hotel the night before England’s £20 million bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In spite of missed planes, mistaken identities, misunderstandings and sartorial challenges, they are determined to bring the beautiful game home. But when things start to go disastrously wrong, beginning when the PM’s callow PA middles the rooming arrangements and gives access to various odd individuals who wreak havoc, it looks as if three heads may not be better than one!

This valiant attempt to combine an impressions show with a satirical farce doesn’t fully succeed. The heart of the comedy lies in the interaction between these three public figures as they prepare to put their case but it takes awhile for the mechanics of the farce to get into full swing. Prince William is seen as an instinctive practical joker, while David Beckham is a guileless innocent in thrall to a wife desperate to get an invitation to the forthcoming royal wedding, and David Cameron is depicted as an overenthusiastic PR type but retaining a degree of dignity.

The play is directed by Philip Wilson with great pace and provides plenty of laughs, most notably when trousers are dropped, and we see a CCTV camera shot of Boris Johnson debagging the Prince, prompting further exchanges, resulting in Cameron being painfully fitted with a pair of Beckham’s ultra tight Armanis.

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, with more than a passing resemblance to our PM perfectly captures Cameron’s demeanour and tight-lipped, tooth-sucking exasperation. Séan Browne impresses as a bearded, beaming Beckham (his appearance and voice are virtually indistinguishable from the man himself), with the ability of making him appear both charming and thick. Tom Davey makes a suitably, tall endearing William, lending the character the royal air of slack-jawed affability. Ravi Aujla doubles effectively as an over obliging hotel attendant and bungling twin and Antonia Kinlay displays fine comic timing as Cameron’s blond ineffectual PA.

Certainly a fun-filled evening in the theatre!

Runs until May 2

Box office: 0844 264 2140

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