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Meet the author of The Damned United

The Damned United author David Peace is set to talk about a new stage adaptation of his internationally-acclaimed novel about Leeds football legend Brian Clough in an exclusive interview with Leeds Beckett University academic, Dr Katy Shaw. tdu

The interview will take place on Monday 14 March following a performance of the new show (adapted especially for the stage by award-winning British playwright Anders Lustgarten) at the West Yorkshire Playhouse (WYP).  David will fly in from Japan for one night only to appear in conversation with Dr Shaw about the Red Ladder Theatre Company reworking of his text.

The Damned United tells the tale of Yorkshire-born Brian Clough, one of the most controversial figures in the history of football, and his turbulent 44 day rule of Leeds United; the team that he had openly despised throughout his career.  The novel has already been turned into a Hollywood movie, but the new stage adaptation promises to produce a version that captures the darkness of Peace’s novel.

The post-show discussion will explore the process and politics of adapting literature for the stage and screen, and also the issues and controversies that surround David’s mixing of fact and fiction in representing Brian Clough in the novel form.

Dr Shaw commented: “The Damned United is much more than a novel about football.  It is an ambitious story that captures the intense, internal and isolating experience of being a contemporary football manager, as well as tackling male competitiveness and masculinity, psychological trauma, and the political conspiracies that beleaguer the polished veneer of the ‘beautiful’ game.

“Exploring universal themes of love, jealousy and ambition, David interrogates an already well-documented series of events, adding new perspectives to an increasingly contentious picture of the past.  Through the controversial figure of Brian Clough, he challenges notions of heroism, questioning the significance of his fall and our need for heroes in contemporary society.”

Dr Shaw, Head of English at Leeds Beckett University, is the author David Peace: Texts and Contexts, the world’s only academic study on David Peace and his work, and the editor of a collection of essays entitled Analysing David Peace that examine film and TV adaptations of his writings.

The Damned United, Directed by Rod Dixon, Artistic Director of Red Ladder, premiers on Friday 4 March and runs until Saturday 2 April.  Tickets can be booked at http://bit.ly/1mHz7A6.  The role of Brian Clough will be played by Andrew Lancel, whose television credits include Coronation Street, The Bill and Bad Girls.

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