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Tess Dignan brings fuel to the fire in a sordid south-end boozer as the audience witness a fervour of misogynistic malice, patriotic hoodlumism and down-right white nationalism in Nicole Charles’ production of Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads.

Aug 02 2022

It has been two decades since Roy William’s took Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads to the stage at The National Theatre, yet it couldn’t be more relevant today in the run up to the mens World Cup amidst the setting of global tension and mistrust that the political saga of 2016 caused. The Minerva Theatre of Chichester has been transformed into The King George, a South-end boozer lined with tobacco stained walls and grime-stained carpets, the ideal setting for the mania to follow. Open the doors and inside you meet a host of characters who are simply xenophobic in what they perceive their own right. Lawrie, (played by Richard Riddell), is shamelessly spiteful; the landlady Gina, (Sian Reese-Williams), endlessly feigns denial; Lee (Alexander Cobb) tries to silence his internal prejudices but they escape him in the racist breeding ground at the bar. Silently watching, Alan (Michael Hodgson), is unnerving in his ability to catalyse the hatred without lifting a single finger. Together the gang broadcast a spectacle of naked violence, raw aggression and bloody brutalism as the events of the England V Germany World Cup Qualifier unfold. 

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