Three Lions played fast for laughs

The Three Lions: Sean Browne (David Beckham), Tom Davey (Prince William) and Dugald Brucelockart (David Cameron)  Photo:  Geraint Lewis
The Three Lions: Sean Browne (David Beckham), Tom Davey (Prince William) and Dugald Brucelockart (David Cameron) Photo: Geraint Lewis
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The Three Lions - Liverpool Playhouse

Until Saturday March 21

The setting is a Swiss hotel room where David Cameron, who is leading England’s deputation to FIFA to host the 2018 World Cup in England, is preparing his campaign along with David Beckham and Prince William.

Heavyweight contenders indeed.

Just a shame that a BBC Panorama programme went out the day before accusing FIFA of allegedly taking bribes.

At the beginning, it felt like we were watching a comedy sketch, with the mannerisms of the celebrities exaggerated like caricatures, so Becks came across as simple, Cameron cynical and Wills Woosterish.

But as events raced to the final judging the plot took on a momentum of its own and turned into a classic manic farce, with much trouser dropping but with some wonderful one-liners along the way.

Ravi Aujla, a master of dialect, was (supposedly) the obsequious hotel employee fawning over the celebs.

Antonia Finlay gave a delightful performance as the P.A. girl, fighting against the odds to get the right men in the right rooms.

There were digs at Boris Johnson (drunk), Nick Clegg (‘Nick who?’) and William Hague. Becks kept trying to get Wills to let Victoria sing at his wedding.

Wills had Kate hectoring him on the phone. Once the results came out and Britain got only two votes, the recriminations began.

‘We give incentives not bribes’. ‘Well, they’re not big enough incentives’.

Then Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson became embroiled in the aftermath and the show built up to a hilarious grand finale with Lewis Collier enjoying a surprise cameo as a half-naked Australian guest.

One striking thing about this play was the remarkable resemblance of the actors to the people they portrayed.

Sean Brown was the spitting image of David Beckham, Tom Davey, as Prince William, had all the upper class mannerisms of a Toff in Town while Dugald Bruce-Lockhart had David Cameron’s familiar supercilious sneer off to a T.

Fast paced and never dull, The Three Lions was directed by Philip Wilson.

A smash hit at the Edinburgh Fringe, the laughs will follow it all round the country. It runs at the Liverpool Playhouse Theatre until Saturday. March 21.

Ron Ellis