Three Lions, a determinedly comedic kickabout, has been kicking about the provinces for a couple of years now since it kicked off at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival. So long, in fact, you may have forgotten the issues: in December 2010 newish PM David Cameron, oldish soccer ace David Beckham and just-engaged-to-Kate Prince William fronted the England bid for the 2018 world cup immediately after a damning BBC Panorama documentary exposed bribery and corruption in FIFA. Our £20 million bid secured only two votes.

Cameron has a lot to prove – Tony Blair already scooped us the Olympics – Wills is bent on practical jokes to lighten the campaign, and Beckham doesn’t have quite enough fingers to work out he’ll be 43 in 2018 and unlikely to be selected. It all depends on the ability of the actors to impersonate the three men without caricature and sustain it through two and a half hours of Thick-of-It-ish satire which morphs uneasily into trouserless farce.

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart has Cameron’s mannerisms and twitches so effectively off pat he could have deputised in last night’s Paxman interview, although if anything he’s a shade too engaging, William Gaminara’s plot and script are unusually kind to ‘call me Dave’. Tom Davey simply isn’t blond enough for William and although he occasionally pins William’s puppy-like enthusiasm it isn’t a patch on Oliver Chris’s effortlessly chinless triumph in King Charles III. There are of course no pits of blondness deep enough to measure David Beckham’s alleged intellect, but Séan Browne’s portrayal is so near perfection that although he’s the brunt of too many jokes, he emerges as the most authentic and admirable character.

Some of the jibes feature soft targets as befits blokey theatre to which you can take your resiliently un-theatrical dad or brother: Posh Spice threatening to sing at the Royal Wedding or Cameron’s constantly not recognising Nick Clegg on the phone, and whilst there’s a frisson of interest at the mention of Rebekah Brooks and Rupert Murdoch, Gaminara wastes the opportunity to develop their fearsome influence into Richard Bean’s Great Britain territory.

It’s not cutting edge satire, but it’s occasionally very funny and remains entertaining even if you can see the ending coming a mile off.