Bristolian actor Thomas McGee to join cast of The Red Lion following city-wide open auditions

28 Jan 2020

Bristol Old Vic today announced The Red Lion’s final cast member Thomas McGee, following a city-wide call-out to find an aspiring local actor to play the lead role of emerging footballer Jordan.

In a world removed from the wealth and television cameras, a non-league team are struggling to make ends meet. So, when a gifted young player arrives out of nowhere, it’s the opportunity everyone’s been waiting for. For the kit man, Yates, this brilliant player will restore the declining fortunes of the whole team. But the ambitious manager, Kidd, is determined to make him his own…

Chosen from over 100 other applicants, Thomas now joins the previously announced Joe Sims and David Lloyd in Patrick Marber’s three-hander, exploring the passions and conflict that run deep in non-league, semi-pro football.

Director Ed Viney said today, “We saw a staggering amount of Bristol talent and Tom brought an agility and edge which is absolutely right for the role of Jordan. I'm delighted to be working with him on his professional debut. The Red Lion is a play I have wanted to direct for a long time. I know it will connect with audiences in Bristol and beyond. If you've ever played, watched or enjoyed the thrill of football, then you'll understand the beauty of sport and live performance.”

Born and raised in Patchway, Bristol, Thomas began playing football at the age of 6 for a local team. He graduated from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in 2017 where his roles included Richard Burbage in Shakespeare’s Sister, David Spear in The Funfair and Francis Nurse in The Crucible. The Red Lion will be his professional stage debut.

Speaking about the opportunity, Thomas McGee said, “Football and acting have always been huge passions for me and to make my professional debut in a show about football is unreal. I can’t wait to get started with Joe, David and Ed and everyone behind the scenes to produce something that will bring the worlds of theatre and football together!

David Lloyd, Thomas McGee, Joe Sims. Image credit: Ben Robins

Joe Sims plays Kidd. Joe has had a long-standing relationship with Bristol Old Vic, having trained as part of the Young Company in 1994 before going on to host Bristol Old Vic’s annual Open Stage as a champion of accessible theatre and creative opportunities for everyone. He is best-known for playing Nigel Carter in ITV’s BAFTA winning drama Broadchurch but has appeared extensively on television and radio, including Britannia (Sky/Amazon), The First Team (BBC), Plebs (ITV), Agatha Raisin (Sky), Father Brown and Casualty. Joe won an Offie award for “People’s Favourite Male Performance” for his role in As We Forgive Them at the Arcola Theatre while other theatre credits include Three Sisters (Southwark Playhouse), Solid Air (Plymouth Theatre Royal) and Penguin (Arcola Theatre).

The cast is completed by David Lloyd as Yates. David is best known for his role as Graeme in Maid Marian and her Merry Men, which he co-adapted for the Bristol Old Vic stage in 1994. His theatre credits include The Odd Couple and Man of the Moment (York Theatre Royal) and Great Expectations (Salisbury Plahouse). David has also written over 65 episodes for BBC’s Doctors and was the match-day announcer at Ashton Gate for Bristol City Football Club.

The Red Lion will play in The Weston Studio from Wed 11 – Sat 28 Mar.
For press inquiries, please contact or 0117 949 4901.

Listings Information
The Red Lion
Wed 11 – Sat 28 Mar
The Weston Studio
8pm | 9pm (Thu & Sat matinees, see website for details)
£12 | 0117 987 7877

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

Press Office: 0117 949 4901 |