Leeds United stage-play aims to score grassroots success

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A play about life as a Leeds United fan in the 1980s is preparing for an unusual series of home fixtures.

Set against a gritty backdrop of football hooliganism and the miners’ strike, Marching On Together is due to run from February 3 to 28 next year at London’s Old Red Lion Theatre.

Once its stint in the capital is done and dusted, writer Adam Hughes is hoping to bring the production to audiences in Leeds.

And the intriguing plan is for its run in the city to give theatres a miss in favour of more down-to-earth venues such as pubs and working men’s clubs in areas including Belle Isle, Swarcliffe and Holbeck.

Adam, 23, from Cross Gates, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “I want to make sure it reaches people who might not ordinarily go to the theatre.

“Many of the people in our audiences will have been at the sharp end of the troubled decade that was the 1980s and it is them I am trying to speak to.”

Marching On Together tells the story of Macca, a Leeds fan freed from a three-year jail term into a Yorkshire riven by the turmoil of the miners’ strike of 1984 and 1985.

He attempts to keep out of trouble and patch things up with his partner but is slowly drawn back into the world of football violence that landed him in prison in the first place.

Adam, whose previous play, True Colours, premiered at Leeds’s Carriageworks theatre, said: “When you see hooliganism portrayed on TV and in films, it’s almost always glorified.

“By contrast, we won’t have a single scene of violence. We are aiming to look at what drives people to get involved in something like this.”

Funding is already in place for professionally-made Marching On Together’s run in London but Adam is seeking backing for its proposed visit to Leeds.

Anyone interested in supporting the project can get more details at the www.adhughes.co.uk/motdonate web page.