The Damned United
Friday 4 March – Saturday 2 April 2016
This Spring, West Yorkshire Playhouse joins forces with Red Ladder Theatre Company to bring you the world premiere of The Damned United, the tale of one of the most controversial figures in the history of football.
Adapted from David Peace’s hugely popular novel of the same name, which was also made into a film, The Damned United is the tale of Brian Clough, Yorkshire born enfant terrible of the world football.
Set in 1974, The Damned United explores the tortured mind of a genius in the turbulent period when he was manager of Leeds United, and reveals what really happened in the 44 days with the team which he had openly despised throughout his career.
The theatrical rights to The Damned United were donated to Red Ladder by its author David Peace and put an overwhelming vote of confidence in the company after its funding had been cut.
The role of Brian Clough will be played by Andrew Lancel, whose credits include Coronation Street, The Bill and Bad Girls for television. He recently appeared in the national tours of Twelve Angry Men with Tom Conti and Susan Hill’s The Small Hand.
James Brining, Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse says:
“This is an exciting project for West Yorkshire Playhouse and we’re very pleased to be working with Red Ladder to tell this incredible tale. 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. I hope its drama and passion will appeal not only to football fans but also to theatregoers from Leeds and beyond.”
Rod Dixon, Artistic Director of Red Ladder comments:
“Red Ladder are delighted to be joining forces with the West Yorkshire Playhouse to embark on be what will be the biggest production in our 47 year history. We are really happy to be working with such an established and successful organisation to bring this story to the audience it deserves, and would once again like to thank David Peace for making this possible.”
David Peace adds:
“For me, after all the inspiration and support I got from Red Ladder, particularly with the Red Writers Group while I was back in the UK from 2009 and 2011, and all the enthusiasm and interest Rod Dixon and Chris Lloyd have shown in my work – they were so helpful and inspiring when I was writing ‘Red or Dead’ – offering the theatrical rights for ‘The Damned United’ for the minimum amount possible was the very least I could to try, even in a such a small way, to help ‘Save Red Ladder.”