Smash hits: plays about sport

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The Independent Culture

* The Changing Room

This hyper-real 1971 play by David Storey is a "backstage" look at a semi-pro Northern rugby league team. After premiering at the Royal Court, the show transferred to the West End and then to Broadway where it won a pack of Tonys.

* Professional Foul

Tom Stoppard's play follows a Cambridge don who is attending a philosophical colloquium in Prague, but is more interested in watching England's World Cup qualifying match against Czechoslovakia.

* On Tour

Three England hooligans are locked up in a foreign cell, in a Pinteresque drama of rapid power shifts and simmering violence. The play, by Gregory Burke, premiered at the Royal Court in 2005.

* An Evening with Gary Lineker

Perhaps the best known sports play, thanks to a 1994 television adaptation starring Paul Merton, Martin Clunes and Clive Owen, Arthur Smith and Chris England's play started life at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1991. Against the backdrop of the 1990 World Cup semi-final between England and West Germany, the marriage of Bill and Monica is unravelling.

* The English Game

Richard Bean's latest work premiered in May. It uses the genteel and typically English setting of an amateur cricket match to take a wry look at the state of the nation.