By Göran R Buckhorn
Some years ago, playwright Ed Waugh was a household name on these pages with his play Hadaway Harry about the Tyneside professional oarsman Harry Clasper. HTBS readers and writers flocked to the play that was performed at, among other places, the Theatre Royal in Newcastle and London Rowing Club by the Thames. HTBS’s Chris Dodd wrote about actor Jamie Brown who played Clasper:
Jamie Brown is Harry in Ed Waugh’s roisterous drama. He is a solo tour-de-force, bringing the rawness of the working class life in Newcastle and the relentless training round the clock to life. When it comes to racing the London Championship Course of 4 1/4 miles from Putney to Mortlake, he has you on the edge of your seat while attached to an oar by your fingernails for every stroke.
In April, in London, it’s time for another play from Ed Waugh’s hand, Carrying David. In this play, Waugh has moved to another sport, boxing. Carrying David is the dramatic story of how the terminally ill David McCrory inspired his bother Glenn to become the cruiserweight champion of the world.
Carrying David stars Micky Cochrane and was directed by former EastEnders star Russell Floyd, who also directed Hadaway Harry. The play premiered on Tyneside and toured the North East in June last year. It was so successful it transferred to Northern Ireland in November for a number of dates including Belfast’s Lyric Theatre, where it was an instant hit.
Playwright Ed Waugh said: ‘Glenn McCrory’s story is funny, dramatic and heartbreaking. He was a working-class lad from County Durham with huge talent but at every stage he was ripped off and badly mismanaged. Thanks to David’s inspiration, who was diagnosed with the neurological condition Friedreich’s Ataxia (FDRA) in his teens, Glenn was able to overcome what appeared to be insurmountable obstacles to be crowned world champion in 1989.’
Ed Waugh continued: ‘Carrying David is like Rocky, but with brotherly love, humor and emotion! It has been given a standing ovation at every venue it has played.’
After Glenn McCrory’s boxing career was over, he went on to work as a well-respected Sky Sports boxing commentator for 28 years.
Now Carrying David is coming to Canal Cafe Theatre in London.
‘We are delighted to be hosting Carrying David. The reports we’ve had and the reviews from the shows have been incredible,’ Canal Café Theatre Artistic Director Emma Taylor said.
Carrying David plays at the Canal Café Theatre on Friday, April 3 (6.30 p.m.), Saturday 4 (2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.) and Sunday 5 (6 p.m.) before transferring to Newcastle Theatre Royal (April 9 & 10).
Please note, there are only four performances at Canal Café Theatre!
Canal Café Theatre, 13 Westbourne Terrace Rd, London W2 6NG, UK,
Tickets: £18 (plus a 50p booking fee)
Running time: 120 mins (2 hours)
You will find more information and reviews – here.
Here is a trailer of Carrying David:
Members of a boxing club in Antrim, Northern Ireland, went to see Carrying David in November. They had never been to the theatre before but got so inspired by the show, they produced their own brief video: