Shows B

THE BEAUTIFUL GAME Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Lyrics by Ben Elton Cambridge Theatre, London. September 26, 2000 STORY In Belfast, in the late 60s, a horde of keen adolescents play soccer. Unhappily these matches are accompanied by locker-room religious skirmishes which later develop into serious sectarian divisions, fatal attacks and internment. The story traces the decline of the player’s team after winning the cup in 1969 and follows the members of the team and their various fortunes: some get knee-capped or worse; others turn traitor or flee to America. A Protestant is excluded from the Catholic team which meets under the watchful eye of Father O’Donnell. This latter is a cleric who is football mad. Del, the Protestant boy is brutally intimidated and expelled by Catholic boys led by Thomas, who is clearly first-rate IRA material. It is not long before masked Protestant bully-boys vandalise the team’s dressing rooms and, after the team wins the cup, another gang tortures and murders Greg, a sweet-natured, ginger-haired tubby lad who has just had his first kiss. Daniel starts stealing car radios and takes his first steps in drugs. he sectarian criminal underworld culture of Northern Ireland is being born. The romantic heart of the story is about politically conscious Mary and innocent, handsome, football-mad John, who almost gets to play for Everton but is sucked into the conflict; and Christine, who marries Protestant Del and receives vile abuse from other Catholic girls. The two leave, with their baby, for America. And so the alternatives are: silence, exile or killing. MUSICAL NUMBERS: 1. Overture - Orchestra 2. The Beautiful Game - Company 3. Clean the Kit - John, Thomas, Mary, Cronies 4. Don’t Like You - Mary, John 5. God’s Own Country - Mary, Protestant Girl 6. Let Us Love In Peace - Christine, Del 7. A Game of Two Halves Company 8. Off to the Party Team and Father O’Donnell 9. The Craic Company 10. Our Kind of Love - Christine 11. The Happiest Day - John, Mary, and Father O’Donnell 12. To Have and to Hold - John, Mary and Company 13. The First Time - Mary, John 14. I’d Rather Die On My Feet Than Live On My Knees - Thomas 15. The Selection - John and Team 16. Dead Zone - John and Internment Camp Inmates 17. If This Is What we’re Fighting For - Mary 18. All the Love I Have - John, Mary 19. Finale - Mary, Sean, Father O’Donnell & Company Discography: Original London Cast - Telstar TCD 3160 (5 014469 531604) Original Cast Recording Libretto Vocal Selection