The Damned United comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse. Not my thing, but is it yours?

West Yorkshire Playhouse and Red Ladder Theatre Company is bringing The Damned United to the stage. The acclaimed stage production of David Peace’s novel follows Brian Clough’s disastrous 44-day period as manager of Leeds United. Just two years after the sell-out world premier of the show, it’s back again…

This latest production brings with it intimate new staging, described as “bringing audiences up-close to the sweat, fury and power-struggles”. Uh, no thanks. Still, if it’s going on tour a small-scale production seems the right way to go.

I hate football (is Leeds United football or rugby? Either way), but I do love theatre. Will it still be a match made in heaven for me? To be honest, I don’t think I’ll find out.

The show is directed by Red Ladder’s Artistic Director Rod Dixon and performed by a small cast of three – Luke Dickson, David Chafer and Jamie Smelt. In my experience, small casts are often an indication of quirky, experimental theatre but if you like that kind of thing, it might be perfect for you.

About the show, director Rod Dixon said: “By charting the fall of Brian Clough and exposing what made ‘Old Big ‘ed’ tick, audiences are given a fascinating insight into the troubled but brilliant mind of a flawed genius –who to this day, remains one of the most controversial figures in sporting history.”

Here’s something particularly lovely about the show – rights have been donated to Red Ladder Theatre Company for £3.68 – a penny for each page in the novel – as a show of support for the Leeds-based theatre company when it received a 100% cut to Arts Council Funding. How lovely, and what a fantastic display of support for the arts.

Catch The Damned United at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 27th March to 7th April.

Photograph credited to Malcij Photography


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