THE Damned United – the tale of one of the most controversial figures in the history of football – kicks off Unity Theatre’s Summer Season on 17-18 May in a new production by Red Ladder Theatre Company, in association with Unity Theatre Liverpool. Adapted from David Peace’s ingenious novel, which is regarded a modern classic, The Damned United tells the story of Brian Clough, enfant terrible of the football world, and during the disastrous 44 days that he was manager of Leeds United.1974 – Brian Clough tries to redeem his career and reputation by winning the European cup with his new team, Leeds United. The team he has openly hated for years, the team he hates and that hates him. Don Revie’s Leeds. Taking us inside the tortured mind of a genius slamming up against his limits, The Damned United brings to life the beauty and brutality of football, the working man’s ballet.Red Ladder Theatre Company’s artistic director Rod Dixon directs this newly adapted production: a scaled-down intimate staging performed by a company of three: Luke Dickson, David Chafer and Jamie Smelt. This new production of The Damned United follows last year’s world premiere staging, a co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse, which played to full houses and received great critical acclaim. The same creative team have been assembled to work on the new version.Rod Dixon, artistic director of Red Ladder, said: “As a story, The Damned United has it all – passion, power struggles and tragedy – so it holds great appeal for football fans, theatre audiences and those of us who have been gripped by David Peace’s novel. By charting the fall of Brian Clough and exposing what made ‘Old Big ‘Ed’ tick, it gives a compelling insight into the troubled but brilliant mind of a flawed genius, during a legendary spell in sporting history. We’re thrilled to be restaging our successful adaptation of The Damned United as a new intimate production, with a cast of three bringing to life this much-loved title.”The theatrical rights to The Damned United were donated to Red Ladder Theatre Company by the author David Peace, who put an overwhelming vote of confidence in the company after its funding had been cut. The novel has been adapted for the stage by award-winning playwright and political activist, Anders Lustgarten.Tickets for The Damned United are now available via Unity Theatre’s website http://www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk/whats-on/the-damned-united.html and by calling the box office on 0151 709 4988.