Wagatha play won’t attack Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney.

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By Creative Media News

Liv Hennessy, whose West End production is inspired by the High Court conflict, thinks that the Wagatha Christie case has all the elements of a great drama: mystery, suspense, and broken friendships.

Earlier this year, the conflict between Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney dominated the news cycle.

It may have provided spectators with a reprieve from hearing about the war in Ukraine, Covid, the heatwave, and politics.

“Wagatha seemed like a genuine water-cooler moment in the United Kingdom, which I believe is fairly rare these days,” says playwright Hennessy.

The trial was called “Wagatha Christie” about both women as footballers’ wives and girlfriends (Wags) and the famed author of whodunit mysteries, Agatha Christie.

Wagatha play won't attack rebekah vardy and coleen rooney.
Wagatha play won't attack rebekah vardy and coleen rooney.

Following her 2019 Instagram sting operation, Mrs. Rooney publicly accused Mrs. Vardy of leaking confidential stories about her to The Sun over social media.

Mrs. Vardy has always denied this and pursued legal action against Mrs. Rooney; nevertheless, in July, Mrs. Justice Steyn declared that Mrs.

Mrs. Rooney is anticipated to get approximately £1.5 million in legal fees from Mrs. Vardy.

Hennessy asserts that her piece, Vardy v. Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial, reflects a moment in time by examining the distinction between the private and public spheres.

“This case could not have occurred 10 years ago, and it probably won’t occur again in 10 years, since media law is constantly catching up with how we use social media,” she says.

Rebekah vardy
Wagatha play won't attack rebekah vardy and coleen rooney.

“The play raises the topic of what we expect of our public leaders and whether we believe they should act with integrity, which is reasonable if you’re a politician or a highly powerful person.

“However, it becomes murkier if you are a social media influencer or “famous adjacent” to social media.

“When you begin to monetize public trust and receive compensation for your Instagram postings, we sort of have a right to know if we can trust you or not,” the author writes.

Before writing, Hennessy spent two weeks poring over 1,200 pages of transcripts purchased by the play’s producers.

This was not a burden, though, as she was already “glued” to the case, following it via WhatsApp groups and Twitter, and taking special pleasure in some of the memes.

Hennessy states, “I come from the soap opera industry, so I’m used to extremely tight deadlines, working under extreme pressure, and finding the story.”

“It matched my skill set, but it’s been quite a journey.”

She also consulted with legal experts “to ensure that I got it right.”

The play is an example of verbatim theatre; when the characters speak, they employ actual language.

Lisa Spirling, who approached Hennessy to write the play, was aware that the format could be effective.

“A large number of Nicholas Kent’s plays at London’s Tricycle Theatre were based on trials and investigations, so we knew it had been done before,” she explains.

His works include dramas about the Grenfell Tower fire, the murder of Stephen Lawrence, and Bloody Sunday.

Both women are aware of what impressed them about the Vardy-Rooney trial, as well as what they chose to avoid.

Hennessy emphasizes that she is not attempting to demean the women, who are perhaps best known for being footballers’ wives.

She says, “You might think we’re going to make fun of people who don’t understand the legal system, but we’re not.”

That is not the focus of this play.

Instead, the reading of the transcripts revealed that “they are both incredibly intelligent women who navigate a legal system – most of us would be very confused,” according to Hennessy.

“They are so self-reliant, so confident, and so capable,” she says.

Eleanor Lloyd, the president of the London Theatre Society and the play’s producer, convinced Spirling to reconsider her initial stance and investigate the issues highlighted.

She agreed and saw the play’s immense potential. In addition, Channel 4 is also producing a documentary drama about the case.

“I asked, ‘Are we bringing down two working-class women or two women who happen to be extremely wealthy?” According to Spirling, the women may be portrayed as follows:

But her “hackles rose” at the “patriarchy of everyone constantly calling them Wags.”

Alison Kervin, a former sports writer who signed a three-book deal in the 2000s to create books about Wags, recently told the Times: “I detest the word Wag.

She stated, “The entire ‘Wag’ society infantilizes women.” “They were perceived as attractive hangers-on.

“Girls no longer desire to be wives or girlfriends alone. This summer has demonstrated that women can also play football and win.”

Spirling found a connection between the case and himself.

She states, “I’m originally from Lancashire, and many of my (male) pals are professional footballers.” “A surprising number were from my local school.

“To witness those lads embark on that path, have too much money, and be too famous for their age, and what that does to you – to be living that life, as those men have for 20 years – the tiredness of that, how you sustain it, and for the ladies who accompany it.

Therefore, I felt like I knew the world.

And after a “deep dive into what people were fighting for” in the court case, she concluded, “it’s reputation and ownership of their story… Instagram is an example of individuals regaining control.”

The voice of Mrs. Vardy’s acquaintance and representative, Caroline Watt, was absent from the trial.

A consultant forensic psychiatrist concluded in a report that she was unfit to testify orally.

She is featured in the play, however.

“What Liv has done exceptionally well is bring Caroline into the room,” Spirling explains.

“Therefore, you get a sense of her, in part because of so many WhatsApp conversations, but also because of her physical presence.

“She’s the one we’re not talking about, where you’re thinking, ‘That’s someone who’s lost their job, who wasn’t in the public glare, for whom this has been stressful, substantial, and troubling… it feels very significant.”

In addition to court action commentators and action replays, Hennessey also features football experts on stage.

She will not reveal which iconic courtroom scenes are included, but she says, “I don’t think anyone will be disappointed.”

The production began as a one-night-only performance, but due to ticket demand, it has been extended.

“We want to provide individuals with a fantastic night out,” adds Spirling. “The world is currently quite difficult.

This play has dialogues about the economy, popularity, and notoriety, and it will provide some escape for the audience.

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