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Life of a legend is on stage at Derby

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: January 11, 2013

Writen by Mike Davis. In this blistering one-man show we invite you to join legendary hell-raiser Oliver Reed.  As he knocks back a few pints he shares his incredible life story.  From the boyhood excitement of learning he was a descendant of Peter the Gr

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A ONE-man play reflecting on the life of acclaimed actor, Oliver Reed comes to Derby Theatre for one night only.

The new play, written by Mike Davis and Rob Crouch, who also performs the piece, debuted at Edinburgh Fringe last year.

Directed by Kate Bannister Oliver Reed: Wild Thing is at Derby Theatre on Thursday, February 7.

Rob Crouch pays homage to the actor and legendary hell-raiser as he spent his last days in Malta, knocking back a few drinks and sharing his incredible life story.

From the boyhood excitement of learning he was a descendant of Peter the Great, through the success of Oliver!, boozy adventures with Keith Moon and disastrous chat show appearances, Wild Thing offers an insightful and entertaining glimpse into the life of one of Britain’s great talents.

The actor’s son, Mark Reed, said: “Oliver Reed: Wild Thing captures not just the history of the man but more importantly, his very spirit.

“It’s factual, fun and superbly entertaining - an insight into Oliver Reed.”

Reviewer for Fest, Miranda Kiek, said “Oliver Reed sits in a pub and, in a manner which manages to bridge the gap between thespian raconteur and the Ancient Mariner, fixes the audience with a glittering eye and proceeds to recount his life story. With extraordinary frequency he pauses to down a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, a large whisky, another beer... Not least admirable about Rob Crouch’s performance as Reed is his bladder capacity. He is also superb at capturing Reed in all his fallibility, vulnerability and rabble-rousing monumentalism... It is the type of theatre that catches you out. Reed enters in a Gorilla suit – you laugh, it is a reference to his Wild Thing. He regales you with anecdotes and you laugh. In the grandiloquent tones of a great actor he says things of such staggering egotism – you laugh again. But gradually you realise that all this grandeur, all this solipsistic insistence on being the “last of the shit-kickers” is a terrible defiant bravado; an attempt to prove to himself and anyone else that might be listening that although it became a tragic spectator sport, his life—like that of an ancient Roman gladiator—was still glorious.”

Tickets for Oliver Reed: Wild Thing, are £12 and the show is at 7.30pm.

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