Set in Northern Ireland in the troubled 1970s, THE BEAUTIFUL GAME tells the story of ordinary people in an extraordinary situation. The story is centered on a local football (soccer) team, who attempt to overcome the emerging political and religious violence that has engulfed their community. Within this are John and Mary who fall in love, but find themselves caught in the middle of a ‘war’ that neither of them wants.
Ben Elton’s book is told with humour and compassion, while his lyrics are both funny and heartbreaking. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s evocative score combines heart-searing ballads and stirring anthems with the sounds of Ireland.
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME originally opened at the Cambridge Theatre in London in September 2000. Although created almost 20 years ago, “this piece isn’t really about the Irish problem but about the futility of these conflicts the world over and how they keep repeating themselves,” says Andrew Lloyd Webber. Although this is an Irish story, the themes and sentiments of THE BEAUTIFUL GAMEare universal. All over the world communities are challenged by violence and hatred.