Theatre review: Paint It White at Leicester Square Theatre
Gary Edwards flies the flag for football in this diehard tribute to Leeds United
The War of the Roses is still being fought in Kippax, Leeds, where a diehard Leeds United football fan refuses to take a red bus “cos them’s the colours of the enemy” – Manchester United – and he’s on a one man crusade to “paint everything white”.
Based on the cult autobiographical novel by painter/decorator Gary Edwards, Les Rowley’s stage adaptation takes us from Gary’s first match in the 60s through to the glory days, and the recent fall from grace which caused Leeds’ Harvey Nichols to discontinue its �15,000 champagne cocktail complete with diamond ring.
Still, Edwards sees the funny side - the portrayal of former chairman Peter Ridsdale as a clown is hilarious even if you don’t know who he is.
Whilst there are fine performances from a soap star-studded cast, the centre forward of the show is undisputedly Gary Dunnington.
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It would be easy for the leading man to come across as a teensy bit selfish as he watches every match bar one since 1968, but he manages to somehow garner the respect of the audience for his uncompromising devotion to the beautiful game.
A must for football fans from both sides of The Pennines and beyond.
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* Paint It White was staged at the Leicester Square Theatre, in Leicester Place, WC2, on Thursday, November 3.