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Teague, Edinburgh, Ling and co watch Greater Game draw to a close

PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 November 2018

The Greater Game cast smile for the camera after a show at Waterloo East Theatre (pic: Paul Levy/Orient Outlook Podcast).

The Greater Game cast smile for the camera after a show at Waterloo East Theatre (pic: Paul Levy/Orient Outlook Podcast).

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Michael Head’s play, based on Clapton Orient’s World War One heroes, finished its run on Sunday, but looks set to return in 2019

The Greater Game play before it gets underway at the Waterloo East Theatre with pictures of some of the Clapton Orient team, including Fred Parker, on the wallThe Greater Game play before it gets underway at the Waterloo East Theatre with pictures of some of the Clapton Orient team, including Fred Parker, on the wall

Michael Head’s ‘The Greater Game’ came to an end at the weekend, but the final show was watched by several key members at Leyton Orient.

Head coach Justin Edinburgh and first-team development coach Danny Webb were in attendance at the Waterloo East Theatre for Sunday’s last performance in this 2018 run.

In addition to the popular duo, owner Kent Teague was present and so was director of football Martin Ling and O’s chief executive Danny Macklin.

The play, which had been running since October 25, was watched by various other key figures at Orient this month, including captain Jobi McAnuff, and earned positive reviews from various critics.

Based on Stephen Jenkins’ book ‘They Took The Lead’, the show tells the story of the O’s players and staff who took the lead and signed up en masse to fight for King and Country in World War One.

Forward Peter Kitchen, a legend in his own right at Orient given his success during two spells at the club in the 70s and 80s, helped produce the play.

Earlier this month, he said: “It has been very well received. We had family members from William Jonas, Richard McFadden and George Scott come to see it and the cast were great. The story is very powerful, especially in the second half of the show.

“In this play you had a little bit more of the horrors, the sadness and the loss, but also the friendship they had, so that all came through.”

Kitchen continued: “The first half of the play was setting the scene and bringing together the various strands of the story and McFadden and Jonas’ friendship.

“We saw the camaraderie and the banter of the dressing room in the first half and they took that with them to France into the trenches.

“I still think they had that in the war, even though they were under incredible stress and witnessing horrors, so for them to maintain their friendship was amazing.”

There is now talk of a ‘The Greater Game’ DVD being released ahead of Christmas time after the play sold out by November 10 – two weeks before its final performance.

On top of this, rumours are suggesting a UK tour could take place next year with the same cast and given all the fantastic feedback the play received, it seems a case of not if, but when a UK tour of the show happens.

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