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The Damned United (2018)

  • Venue: Courtyard Theatre
  • Duration: 70 minutes. This performance runs without an interval.
  • Age Guidance: 16+
  • Other: Contains strong language. Post Show Discussion Tue 3 April
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More Information on The Damned United (2018)

Down the stairs…
Along the corridor…
Round the corner…
Into the dressing room.
HIS dressing room.
Hateful, hateful place.
Spiteful, spiteful place.
Dirty, dirty Leeds.

1974. Brian Clough, the enfant terrible of British football, tries to redeem his career and reputation by winning the European Cup with his new team. Leeds United. The team he has openly despised for years, the team he hates and which hates him. Don Revie’s Leeds.

Adapted from David Peace’s brilliant and ingenious novel, The Damned United  takes you inside the tortured mind of a genius slamming up against his limits, and brings to life the beauty and brutality of football, the working man’s ballet.


Continuing our commitment to taking our work around the communities of Leeds, The Damned United will also be visiting venues across the city this Spring. The dates/locations are below. Please contact box office to book for the community tour events.

Wed 11 Apr 7.30pm – West Leeds Sports & Social Club
28 Redshaw Rd, Leeds LS12 1HH

Thur 12 Apr 8pm – The Anglers Club, Burmantofts
75 Stoney Rock Lane, Leeds LS9 7TB

Fri 13 Apr 7.30pm – The Mandela Centre
Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 3HY

Sat 14 Apr 7.30pm – Blackburn Hall
Commercial Street, Rothwell LS26 0AW

Tue 17 Apr 7.30pm – Gipton WMC
Coldcotes Circus, Leeds, LS9 6QE

Wed 18 Apr 7.30pm – Hunslet Hawks
South Leeds Stadium, Middleton Grove, Leeds LS11 5DJ

Thur 19 Apr 7.30pm – HOPS
Hawksworth Wood Village Hall, Hawkswood Crescent, Leeds LS5 3PT

Fri 20 Apr 7.30pm – Chapel FM
York Rd, Seacroft, Leeds LS14 6JB

Sat 21 Apr 7.30pm – Parochial Hall, Middleton
North Lingwell Rd, Leeds LS10 3SR

Listen to our audio flyer


Cast & Credits

A Red Ladder Theatre Company and West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production / By Anders Lustgarten, adapted from the novel by David Peace / Director Rod Dixon / Set and Projection Designs Nina Dunn / Lighting Design Tim Skelly / Sound Design Ed Heaton /

  • David Chafer
    as Peter Taylor
  • Luke Dickson
    as Brian Clough
  • Jamie Smelt
    as Sam Longson, Manny Cussins and all other parts


“ swift, compact and bullishly to the point”

- Entertainment Focus

“ Yes, this a play about football, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a tribute to an era-defining genius, a portrait of a man terminally wrapped-up in his own bravado, a study of loyalty and friendship under pressure…”

- The Stage

“ a cracking piece of theatre”


“ The Damned United delves into a fear of loneliness, vulnerability and the relationships that truly matter – something we can all relate to”

- Leeds-Live

“ Luke Dickson is a commanding presence as Clough”

- Yorkshire Post

“ a lean, mean machine of a play”

- British Theatre Guide

“ modern-day Greek tragi-comedy”

- York Press

“ Leeds and Derby fans, football fans, lovers of tense, intense theatre should see The Damned United”

- On Yorkshire Magazine

Book Tickets

Captioned Performance

Open captioning allows theatre goers with varying degrees of hearing to view the full text as it is spoken or sung, including sound effects and off stage noises. These appear on a scrolling screen, positioned on or at the side of the stage.

British Sign Language Interpreted

A signed performance is the usual full production using either the creative use of sign integrated into the performance or a British Sign Language Interpreter on stage interpreting the show for D/deaf attendees.

Audio Described

Audio Described performances are designed to improve the experience of visually impaired and blind attendees. As well as listening to the dialogue on stage the customer can wear a headset and listen to a live description of the action on stage.

Relaxed Performance

A relaxed performance is a specially selected show from our programme, with slight adaptations to make it suitable for an audience of young people or adults with learning disabilities. This may include extra lighting, additional wheelchair spaces and the freedom to move to alternative seating if required.

Dementia-Friendly Performance

Dementia friendly performances are for all audiences. The theatre experience is enhanced for people living with dementia and their supporters, with adaptations to front of house service, the show and pre-show information packs. Additional dementia-aware staff, quiet spaces, clear signage and visual markers, sound and lighting adjustments and flexible seating options all help to create a supportive, shared experience.

Sing Along

Singalong with the cast in this exclusive performance. Join in as loud as you like, fancy dress is optional but highly recommended.

Post Show Discussion

Parent & Baby Performance

A Parent and Baby performance enables parents to attend the theatre with their baby (under 12 months). We make small adaptations to the lighting and sound effects, including keeping the auditorium lights slightly raised. The seating is unallocated and there is a relaxed attitude to noise.

Socially Distanced

A guaranteed socially distanced performance provides seating with additional space between bubbles to allow appropriate social distancing.

Booking Fees:

*A transaction fee of £2.50 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.


  • Captioned - Captioned
  • Signed - Signed
  • Audio Description - Audio Description
  • Relaxed Performance - Relaxed Performance
  • Dementia Friendly Performance - Dementia Friendly Performance
  • Post Show Discussion - Post Show Discussion
  • Sing Along - Sing Along
  • Socially Distanced - Socially Distanced
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Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital and Families Partner
Caddick Developments
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors