Love it If We Beat Them cast announcement

Love it If We Beat Them cast announcement


Live Theatre, Newcastle is delighted to announce the cast of Love It If We Beat Them, a new play by Rob Ward (Gypsy Queen and Riot Act) about Labour, Love and the Beautiful Game which runs at the Quayside venue from Thursday 2 to Saturday 25 March 2023. Directed by Bex Bowsher, Rob Ward’s play is brought to life by David Nellist, Jessica Johnson, Dean Bone and Eve Tucker.

David Nellist plays Len, an ex-miner and local Labour activist whose political rise could only be outshone by his beloved NUFC winning the league. Dave’s theatre credits include The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time (NT/West End), War Horse (NT), Billy Elliott (West End), Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare Globe), Nicholas Nickelby (West End) and Pitman Painters (New Vic Theatre). TV credits include Sherlock (BBC), A Confession (BBC) and Archie (BBC).

Jessica Johnson takes on the role of Jean, the passionate charity worker and wife of Len, who has turned her pain into action. Jessica’s theatre credits include Educating Rita (Number 1 UK tour), Goth Weekend (Stephen Joseph Theatre/Live Theatre), The Sorcerers Apprentice (Northern Stage). Television credits include Danny and Mick (CBBC), Coronation Street (ITV), Hospital People (BBC), Wire In The Blood (ITV) and The Hunt for Raol Moat.

Dean Bone joins the cast as Michael, a down on his luck miner struggling to find work or hope in the rapidly changing world around him. A former member of Live Youth Theatre his Live Theatre credits include The Savage, The Terminal Velocity of Snowflakes and The Red Lion for which he won a Journal best newcomer award. Film and TV credits include Dead Canny (BBC), The Dumping Ground (BBC) and Vera (ITV).

Eve Tucker plays Victoria, the Labour party’s newest star and contender for the newly available North East seat. Eve is an exciting talent working in both stage and TV. A UCLAN graduate, Eve has recently worked with Theatre Company ‘Wrongsemble’ on A Town Called Christmas and has just finished filming with Coronation Street (ITV).

The opening production of Live Theatre’s milestone 50th birthday year, Love It If We Beat Them is a political drama that explores a time of significant change in the identity of the North East and perfectly captures a moment in recent history that defines who we are today. Set against the backdrop of the infamous Premier League season when Newcastle United almost won under the management of Kevin Keegan and Tony Blair’s New Labour were gathering pace. Hope is in the air but loyalties are tested and tensions reach fever pitch as the winning team will be decided in an explosive head-to-head challenge.

Writer Rob Ward said: “This play is a celebration of Newcastle; the people, the history and, of course, the football team. It’s about passion, hope and desire. This play is for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned theatre goer or have never set foot in an auditorium before. I’m hugely honoured that Love It If We Beat Them is launching Live’s 50th anniversary season.”

Bex Bowsher, Director and RTYDS Assistant Director (Live Theatre and Northern Stage) added: “I am excited to be bringing this play to Live Theatre’s stage. It’s a privilege to be asked to direct the opening play for Live’s fiftieth birthday. Love it If We Beat them perfectly combines the truthful telling of North East stories, that Live is renowned for, with ambitious visions for the region’s future. It is not often that a play can perfectly capture a moment in history that holds significance in today’s world whilst also giving hope for a warmer future.”

A must see for fans of Newcastle United and those who remember the politically exciting days of 1996, tickets for Love It If We Beat Them are on sale now from and Box Office on (0191) 232 1232.

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