James Corden’s Play Was Supposed To Start, But At The Men’s Euros, England’s Game Went To Penalties

It was the moment when millions of football fans held their breath.

England’s place in the Euro 2024 semi-finals had come down to a penalty shootout against Switzerland.

People watched at home, in pubs and in… London’s Old Vic Theatre.

James Corden’s play, The Constituent, was due to start at the same time last night as the penalties.

But instead of ploughing on with the show, Corden went on stage and watched the sporting drama with the audience and his fellow cast members.

Videos show him kneeling down, watching the game on his tablet and talking the crowd through each kick of the ball.

The play, which is a political drama about an MP, started after England’s dramatic victory.

The cast, which also includes Motherland star Anna Maxwell-Martin and Zachary Hart, had originally been watching the match backstage.

Corden told The Guardian: “When it got to extra time, we put on our costumes.

“The extra time finished about three minutes before the play was due to begin. We thought: ‘Oh man, this is tough but we’ve got to start’.

“Then we heard a ‘Yessss’ from the audience, and we looked at each other and said: ‘They’re all watching it’.

“We looked out and there were loads of little lit-up phones in the audience.

“It wasn’t the time to start a serious play about serious issues.

“So me and Anna and Zach went out on stage with an iPad… It was really wonderful, alive, a glorious collective experience.

“One of my favourite moments that I’ve ever had really.”

Audience member Carla Feltham told the PA news agency that “everyone clapped and cheered” when Corden walked on stage and said they could watch the England penalties together.

Ms Feltham said: “It was incredible watching the penalties with the cast, and the atmosphere was amazing.

“It’s not every day something like that happens – and the entire audience loved it.

“It was amazing that England got through.

“I heard that a few shows in London struggled with audience members trying to look at their phones for the score, so this was perfect and avoided that.”

Ms Feltham said the play started around 10 or 15 minutes late “but no one at all minded”.

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