Review: Beating Berlusconi

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Leeds Carriageworks

Many describe sport as drama unwritten, yet you have to be a certain type of person to want to watch a one-man play – a play of two halves and therefore no hour-long straight through show – about a man going to a football match. I am categorically not that sort of person. The match in question was the Champions League final in 2005, the team was Liverpool and the man in question was football nut Mark Radley.

Ostensibly this is a thrilling story of a man’s quest to get to a cup final to support his team, but it is so much more. Indeed, were it just a story of a man going to a football match, it would have held little interest for the likes of me, who has never set foot in a football ground on match day. It is, fortunately, a story about obsession, about love, about working class pride, a paean to a way of life now long lost, a way of life built on community. It manages also to be an incredibly politically engaged piece and it is an energetic, impossible not-to-like performance from Paul Duckworth that brings it all to life.