Exclusive interview about Cloughie play


The actor playing Brian Clough in a special stage production has given an exclusive interview for this website. Colin Tarrant (above), who played Inspector Munroe in the television series The Bill, described Cloughie as "a wonderful man" and said he felt honoured to have the role.

Colin agreed it was a big challenge. "I'm aware I'm dealing with a genuine national and international hero," he said. "He was a great man in every way, a fantastic character. And, as such, a terrific subject for drama."

'Old Big 'Ead in The Spirit Of The Man' originally ran from June 3rd - 25th, 2005, at Nottingham Playhouse. Following its huge success, it went on a national tour in 2006 before returning to the Playhouse.

It's a comedy in which Cloughie's spirit returns to inspire a playwright who's struggling with his new Robin Hood drama. Stepping into those formidable shoes, Colin said the play celebrated all that is inspirational and much-loved about the greatest manager England never had.

"I'm very excited about this play," said Colin, before the launch. "Not only is it a terrific play about a wonderful man. But I'm also a great Forest fan. I was born and raised in a local village, Shirebrook. I used to come with my brothers and see Forest play when we were growing up. So it's a nice dove-tailing of personal and professional interests."

Colin explained that he first learned about the play after reading about it in his Dad's local newspaper. After years of privately immitating Cloughie for family and friends, he felt the role was right for him and contacted his agent straight away.

"I'm told I can do a pretty accurate immitation," said Colin. "It's funny, but the minute you start to immitate Brian Clough, people start to laugh. You're not trying to laugh at him, it's just the man's mannerisms and vocal quirks. I've always latched on to them - not for the way he said things, but what he said. He was just like a walking quote machine. I don't mean that to sound flippant, he just had a wonderful wit about him."

Colin Tarrant

So, the big question is: what can people expect to see when they go to watch the play? The finer details remained under wraps before the opening night, but Colin said the comedy would be a winner. "I think people can expect to see something out of the ordinary, something that's not biographical," he said. "And I'm hoping they'll have some fun."

"I think that part of the spirit of the man is that he had wonderful comic timing and he had a sense of fun about him. That comes out in the script, which has been carefully researched. I hope people will have a laugh and enjoy themselves - and in that spirit, celebrate Brian Clough."

Read our review of the play HERE.

Read about the Gala Performance HERE.