Chariots of Fire is based on the true story of two Cambridge students from different religious backgrounds, who both choose to run in the 1924 Paris Olympics. Eric Liddle, a devout Scottish Christian runs for the glory of God, whilst Harold Abrahams, a young Jewish man, runs to overcome adversity. The play proves as triumphant in its critical reception as the gold medallists Abrahams and Liddle themselves, with the Mail on Sunday hailing the play as ‘a magnificent triumph’.
The original film was a highly regarded cinematic feat, nominated for over 36 awards and winning a total of 16. Chariots of Fire received a BAFTA for Best Film and an Oscar for Best Picture. Vangelis and Jason Carr also won the Oscar for Best Music/Original Score.
Similar to Hudson’s casting of relative unknowns for the film, Hall was also keen to cast fresh faces in the stage play. Jack Lowden makes his West End debut as Liddell alongside 2010 RADA graduate James McArdle who plays Abrahams. What’s more, Hall continues his dutiful homage to the film by working alongside the film’s composer Vangelis, who uses some of the original film soundtrack alongside new music in collaboration with Tony Award winning composer Jason Carr.
As Vangelis’ instrumental ‘Chariots of Fire’ reverberates in audiences ears, one cannot close their eyes without imagining the famous slow motion running sequence from the film. The stage adaptation packs just as much energy, passion and conviction as its screen-based predecessor and audience members will not be disappointed in this fantastic celebration of British Olympic history.