First it was a novel. Then it was a film, starring the shapeshifting Welsh actor Michael Sheen.
And now David Peace’s The Damned United, the story centred around the ‘enfant terrible’ of the 1970s football world, Brian Clough, comes to the Unity Theatre in a new stage adaptation.
The production is set during the disastrous 44 days Clough was manager of Leeds United.
Peace donated the theatrical rights for the story to Red Ladder Theatre Company after it had its funding cut (happily the company is now an Arts Council National Portfolio Organisation again), and this new version – which follows a world premiere at the West Yorkshire Playhouse last year - is a collaboration between Red Ladder and the Unity, performed by a cast of three; Luke Dickson, David Chafer and Jamie Smelt.
Red Ladder artistic director Rod Dixon says: “As a story, The Damned United has it all – passion, power struggles and tragedy, so it holds great appeal for football fans, theatre audiences and those of us who have been gripped by David Peace’s novel.
“By charting the fall of Brian Clough and exposing what made ‘Old Big ‘Ed’ tick, it gives a compelling insight into the troubled but brilliant mind of a flawed genius, during a legendary spell in sporting history.”
The novel has been adapted for the stage by award-winning playwright and political activist Anders Lustgarten, whose Lampedusa was staged at the Unity in 2015.
The Damned United is at the Unity Theatre on July 25. Tickets £12/£10 HERE.