Stars of a new theatre production based around the multimillion-pound Wagatha Christie libel trial hope audiences “go away with sympathy” for both Rebekah Vardy and Coleen Rooney.
West End audiences will soon see Lucy May Baker and Laura Dos Santos take the stage as the two WAGs in a play that’s scripted around seven days-worth of court transcripts.
Baker, who plays Vardy, told Sky News: “This is the women telling their story in their words in a way that we haven’t seen yet, I don’t think.
“We’re looking at two intelligent women who both have their own truths here and…I think it’s a really interesting way to get deeper into the actual stories.”
Dos Santos, who plays Rooney, says the case was “exposing for both of the women”.
“The way they’re treated on the stand by the barristers, how they behave, how they hold themselves together. I hope that people will go away with sympathy for both women… that an audience wouldn’t just be laughing at them and thinking ‘Ha-ha! Isn’t it funny these two WAGS going at it?’.”
The story, of course, began back in October 2019, when Rooney broke the internet with her ‘big reveal’ post on Instagram, where she announced to the world that she’d left a trail of fake-story breadcrumbs to work out who was selling stories from her private Instagram account to The Sun and that: “It’s… Rebecca Vardy’s account”.
Vardy sued Rooney for libel – insisting her name was unfairly dragged through the mud – and the case came to a head earlier in 2022 when the claim was heard at the High Court.
The nation (in part) was captivated.
Vardy, 40, lost the case against 36-year-old Rooney, with the judge finding Rooney’s post “substantially true”.
But before that, catty WhatsApp messages would be read aloud by very expensive lawyers, accounts of phones being lost in the North Sea would emerge, and the nation would be transported back to World Cups of yesteryear and a time of tabloid tip-offs when WAG culture was both aspirational and a way to make money.
Liv Hennessy, the show’s writer, says the “trial had all the ingredients of a great drama.”
She explains: “What’s brilliant for us is that the British legal system is so inherently theatrical, the dialogue is very robust, there are costumes, wigs and really fantastic dramatic moments.”
As well as the West End production, Channel 4 is producing a two-part TV drama on the case.
Due out before Christmas, it’ll feature a star turn from actor Michael Sheen who will appear as Rooney’s charismatic barrister David Sherborne.
Disney+ has also confirmed it is creating a three-part documentary series about the court battle, with “exclusive access” to Rooney.
Vardy v Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial opens on 15 November at Wyndham’s Theatre and will be staged every Tuesday through until Christmas.