Down the stairs, along the corridor, round the corner, into the dressing room, HIS dressing room. Hateful, hateful place. Spiteful, spiteful place. Dirty, dirty Leeds.
It is 1974. Brian Clough, the enfant terrible of British football and a man who has hero status in Derby, is trying to redeem his managerial career and reputation by winning the European Cup with his new team Leeds United – the team he has openly despised for years, the team he hates and which hates him. Don Revie’s Leeds.
This West Yorkshire Playhouse and Red Ladder Theatre Company co-production, adapted by Anders Lustgarten from David Peace’s ingenious novel, The Damned United, takes you inside the tortured mind of a genius slamming up against his limits, and brings to life the beauty and brutality of football, the working man’s ballet.
You may have read the book or seen the film but this is the first theatrical production of The Damned United – the tale of Brian Clough’s doomed 44 days as Leeds United manager – and it is is coming to Derby Theatre this month.
Starring former Coronation Street actor Andrew Lancel as Clough, it is said to be much darker than the film version of the story in the way it puts more focus on Clough’s demons and his relationships with his mother and sidekick Peter Taylor.
Even though the production team has met former United players Eddie Gray, Norman Hunter and Duncan McKenzie to get their take on Clough’s ill-fated reign, The Damned United is not just about football, it’s a story about power and prejudice, the individual against the collective and weakness and strength. The drama and passion of the plan will appeal not only to football fans but to all theatregoers.
Catch the action at Derby Theatre from April 7-16. For tickets go to derbytheatre.co.uk