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Emmerson and Ward Productions in association with Live Theatre present

Love It If We Beat Them

Written by Rob Ward
Directed by Bex Bowsher
Performed by Jessica Johnson, David Nellist, Eve Tucker & Daniel Watson

Design by Alison Ashton
Sound design by Matthew Tuckey
Lighting design by Anna Reddyhoff

Football, politics and the Labour of love. A winning new play about how things can only get better.  It’s Spring 1996, Kevin Keegan’s Newcastle United are riding high in the Premier League and Tony Blair’s New Labour are gathering pace. Hope is in the air and victory seems within reach. Len, a long-term hard-left activist, has decided to run as a candidate for local Labour MP, but the arrival of Victoria from Manchester as New Labour’s front-runner throws a spanner in the works. With loyalties tested and tensions reaching fever pitch, the winning team will be decided in an explosive head-to-head challenge.

Set against the backdrop of the infamous Premier League season when Newcastle United almost won under the management of Kevin Keegan, Love It If We Beat Them explores the age-old political questions: What is power without principle? And what are principles without power? 

Love It If We Beat Them is a new political drama that explores a time of significant change in the identity of the North East communities and perfectly captures a moment in recent history that defines who we are today.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ “Rob Ward’s play is by turns personal and political, local and universal, set in a recognisable past yet relevant today.”
The Stage

Cast and creative team

Portrait photo of Jessica Johnson

Jessica Johnson

Theatre includes: 'Killing Jack' (Queens Theatre Hornschurch); 'The Painted Rocks At Revolver Creek' (Live Theatre); 'Love It If We Beat Them' (Live Theatre); 'The Sorcerers Apprentice' (Northern Stage); 'Educating Rita' (York Theatre Royal); 'Two' (Gala Theatre Durham); 'Goth Weekend' (Live Theatre); 'Key Change' (Open Clasp); 'Educating Rita' (Gala Theatre Durham); 'The Fighting Bradfords' (Gala Theatre); 'The Space Between Us' (Open Clasp); 'East' (WTS Productions); 'A Christmas Carol' (Northern Stage)'
Television includes: 'Casualty' (BBC); 'The Hunt For Raoul Moat' (ITV); 'Danny & Mick' (BBC); 'Vera' (ITV); 'Coronation Street' (ITV); 'Hospital People' (BBC); 'Cuckoo' (Netflix); 'Wire In The Blood' (ITV); 'Girls Club' (Fox)
Film includes: 'School For Seduction' (Ispo Facto Films).

Portrait photo of David Nellist

David Nellist

Theatre includes - 'Protest Song' (Arcola Theatre), 'I,Daniel Blake' (Tiny Dragon/ Northern Stage/ ETT UK Tour) “North East Actor of the year Winner”, 'Love It If We Beat Them' (Live Theatre), 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream' (Shakespeare North Playhouse/Northern Stage/Not Too Tame), 'Sharon 'n' Barry Do Romeo & Juliet', 'Macbeth' (Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch), 'Magic Goes Wrong' (UK Tour), 'Much Ado About Nothing' (Northern Broadsides),'The Fulstow Boys' (Steelworks Theatre Co), 'The Crucible' (Storyhouse Chester), 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' (NT/West End) 'Pitmen Painters' (New Vic Theatre), 'War Horse' (National Theatre ) 'Billy Elliot' ( West End ) 'Nicholas Nickleby' ( Chichester, West End, Toronto) 'Much Ado about Nothing', 'Globe Mysteries' ( Shakespeare's Globe ) 'The Throne', 'Unearthed', 'Magic' (New Vic Theatre), 'Wet House' , 'Searching for Tom', 'You Couldn't Make It Up', 'You REALLY Couldn't Make It Up', 'Toast and Smack Family Robinson' (Live Theatre) 'Blue, Remembered Hills', 'Close the Coalhouse Door' ( Northern Stage/Live Theatre), 'Releevo' ( Map Studio ), 'Junket' ( Arcola ), 'Alf Ramsey Knew My Grandfather', 'The Likely Lads', 'The Far Corner' (Durham Gala ), 'The Taming of The Shrew' ( Salisbury Playhouse ), 'Up on the Roof' ( Colchester Mercury), 'Hey Hey Good Looking' ( Soho Theatre), 'Comedians' ( Comedy Actors ) 'Elton Johns Glasses' ( West End ), 'The Warp' ( Ken Campbell).
Television - 'Suspect: The Shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes' ( Disney+/ITV), 'Archie', 'Eastenders', 'Casualty', 'Waterloo Road', 'Shakespeare & Hathaway', 'A Confession', 'Taboo', 'Harley and the Davidsons', 'Sherlock', 'Boy Meets Girl', 'Holby City', 'M.I High', 'Omid Djalili Show', 'Murder on the Victorian Railway',' 55 Degrees North', 'Breezeblock', 'Rhona',' Rough Justice', 'Sorry About Last Night', 'Spender' ( All BBC ) 'Ghostboat', 'Northern Lights', 'Place Of the Dead', 'The Gambling Man', 'The Student Prince', 'Badger', 'The Bill'. ( ITV ). Film - 'Sebastian', 'Bull', 'Lady Macbeth', 'Twelfth Night', 'Sket' ( Revolver). Radio - 'Homefront', 'Close The Coalhouse Door'.

Portrait photo of Eve Tucker

Eve Tucker

Eve studied Acting at the University of Central Lancashire and graduated in 2018. Credits whilst training include: Tituba in 'The Crucible', Officer/Dorcas in 'The Winter’s Tale' and Rose in 'The Lights'.
Professional credits include UK Tours of 'A Town Called Christmas' and 'Love It If We Beat Them', and 'Coronation Street' for ITV.

Portrait photo of Daniel Watson

Daniel Watson

Daniel is thrilled to portray Michael in 'Love It If We Beat Them', back at Live Theatre. His father was a member of the National Union of Mineworkers in Britain and was directly affected by pit closures so working on this project and playing this character is of great significance to him and his family.
TV/Film credits include: 'Casualty' (BBC), 'The Hunt For Raoul Moat' (ITV), 'Give Them Wings' (Feature film, Magnificent Films), 'Byker Grove' (CBBC, Zenith North).
Theatre Credits include: 'Brassed Off' (Durham Gala), 'The Invisible Man' (Northern Stage and Tour) 'Isolation' (Alphabetti Theatre & The Customs House), 'The Terminal Velocity Of Snowflakes' (LiveTheatre), ,Christmas Crackers' (LIVE Theatre).

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Love It If We Beat Them

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  • Arts Council England
  • Community Foundation
  • European Regional Development Fund
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