Brian Clough’s ill-fated time at Elland Road retold in play

Michael Sheen stars at Brian Clough in The Damned United
Michael Sheen stars at Brian Clough in The Damned United
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YOU have bought the book, seen the film – now get ready for the stage play.

The first ever theatrical production of The Damned United – the tale of Brian Clough’s 44 days as Leeds United manager in 1974 – is coming to the West Yorkshire Playhouse next year.

Starring former Coronation Street actor Andrew Lancel as Clough, it is a joint enterprise between the Playhouse and Leeds’s Red Ladder Theatre Company.

Ossett-born novelist David Peace awarded Red Ladder the theatre rights to his original Damned United book last year to help its struggle for survival in the face of funding cuts.

Writer Anders Lustgarten has now adapted the book for the stage and the finished product – which will have a cast of five – is said to be much darker than the film version. Red Ladder producer Chris Lloyd said: “The book is very distinct from the film in the way it puts more focus on Clough’s demons. That’s going to be reflected in the play.”

The Damned United will run at Leeds’s Playhouse from March 4 to April 2. The production then moves to Derby, where Clough has hero status thanks to his exploits as manager of Derby County.