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Big Daddy vs Giant Haystacks
Published on Monday, 15 July 2013
0

preview

Assembly George Square (venue website)
Theatre
1-12, 14-19, 21-26 Aug, 12:15pm-1:30pm

 Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

If you’re of the right age and background, the very words “Big Daddy” and “Giant Haystacks” will bring a nostalgic smile to your lips. If you’re not, then here are the astonishing facts: at 4pm every Saturday from 1976 to 1988, up to 12 million Britons tuned in to ITV, and watched a 26-stone man called Shirley pretend to fight a six-foot-eleven giant in a sheepskin coat. And this fast-moving show, which won one of our Editors’ Choice awards at the Brighton Fringe a couple of years ago, tells the whole incredible story.

Needless to say, playwrights Brian Mitchell and Joseph Nixon deliver plenty of knockabout humour – but this is ultimately a sensitive and touching play, which contrasts the entertainers’ overblown personae with the fears and insecurities of their real lives. Along the way, you’ll gain some genuine insights into the glory days of British wrestling, with a parade of characters ranging from arch-promoter Max Crabtree to unlikely fan Paul McCartney.

The performance we saw back in 2011 had a bit of fat to trim, but we’re hoping that two years’ touring since then have left it fighting-fit. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is its appropriately heavy-hitting cast: pervious Herald Angel winner Ross Gurney-Randall picked up a best-actor award for his role as Big Daddy, while Count Arthur Strong regular David Mounfield squares up as Giant Haystacks.

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