A boxing-mad South Tyneside playwright is all set for another knockout success as he prepares to take a real-life Rocky story from the ring to the stage.
Ed Waugh has penned an ‘inspirational’ tale of pain, punches and perserverance chronicling North East pugilist Glenn McCrory’s incredible rise from the dole queue to a world title triumph.
The play packs an emotional punch as it depicts the fighter’s remarkable road to glory – and also details Glenn’s brother David’s daily fight for life as he battled a terminal muscle-wasting disease that would ultimately claim his life.
David sadly died at the age of 29 in 1996 – but his memory still burns bright in the heart and mind of his prize-fighting sibling.
Mr Waugh took on the challenge of shaping the show, called Carrying David, after Glenn suggested it – on condition that he, now a respected pundit for Sky Sports’ boxing coverage, stars in the one-man play himself.
Mr Waugh, 56, from Lawe Top, South Shields, said: “I am a big boxing fan and have been a big fan of Glenn since the 1980s. It is such an inspirational story. Glenn was on the dole at the time he won the world title.
“It is not only about his boxing triumph but also about the love of two brothers. It is like Rocky – but true.
“The play is called Carrying David, as Glenn literally would carry his brother on his back. Glenn was inspired by his brother when he got in the ring as he was fighting for his life every day.”
The play gets its world premiere at the Alun Armstrong Theatre at Stanley Civic Hall next May. The venue is a fitting choice as it is less than 200 yards from where Glenn was born and directly opposite the Louisa Centre, where 2,000 fans crammed in to see their local hero claim a points win over Patrick Lumumba to secure the vacant IBF cruiserweight title on June 3, 1989.
Mr Waugh has written 18 plays in 13 prolific years, but he admits he was reduced to tears as he retold Glenn’s unbelievable journey.
Carrying David is the latest play in which Mr Waugh has delved into the history books for unique inspiration.
He added; “Like previous historical plays I have co-written Amazing Grace, about Grace Darling, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Durham, about the Lindisfarne Gospels and Alf Ramsey Knew My Grandfather, about the West Auckland miners who won the first World Cup in 1909 and Hadaway Harry about Harry Clasper, which I wrote alone.
“Carrying David will be entertaining, educational and, hopefully, inspirational.
Carrying David, starring Glenn McCrory, and directed by Adam Morley, will run at the Alun Armstrong Theatre, Front Street, Stanley, County Durham, from Tuesday, May 24, to Saturday, May 28.