OLD BIG 'EAD IN...
THE SPIRIT OF THE MAN
Review of Cloughie play
The actor Colin Tarrant hits the right note, quite literally, in his portrayal of the Great Man in the tribute play. He bursts into song, giving a specially-adapted rendition of one of Cloughie's favourites by Frank Sinatra.
Tarrant captures Cloughie's character and charisma brilliantly, from the moment he walks onto the stage in that famous green top and tracksuit bottoms. And it's not simply repeating the words 'young man' in that distinctive northern drawl -- it's much more than that. Tarrant has clearly studied his subject with painstaking accuracy. Even down to the way he used to scratch his head!
'Old Big 'Ead in The Spirit of the Man' is not a biography, although it does include biographical parts. One poignant moment sees him step back into the 1950's when he first met his wife Barbara. In another touching scene he reflects on his relationship with Peter Taylor. He regrets not making it up with his old pal after they fell-out.
The play works on several levels and is not purely about football. Heaven is created on stage, a struggling playwright attempts to rouse his actors -- and Robin Hood is handed his bow. Add the spirit of Cloughie into the mix and you've got a match, quite literally, made in heaven.
Colin Tarrant as Old Big 'Ead