Harold Larwood play tickets to be won in Chad

A NUNCARGATE cricket legend is at the centre of a brand new production which opens at Nottingham Playhouse next month.

Directed by the Playhouse’s Artistic Director Giles Croft, ‘The Ashes’ documents the life of former coal miner Harold Larwood whose ‘bodyline’ attack helped England win the Ashes against Australia in 1932/3.

It is written by Nottinghamshire writer Michael Pinchbeck (whose previous work includes The White Album at the Playhouse) and opens on 2nd September for a two-week run.

After suffering humiliation at the hands of Australian batsman Sir Donald Bradman, the England team hatched a plan to use a new bowling technique for the 1932 Ashes series called ‘bodyline’.

England captain Douglas Jardine wanted the bowlers to use the ‘fast leg theory’ and Larwood was the bowler who put it into action.

Bradman’s average soon fell and England went on to bring the Ashes home - but the controversial fast bowling technique also led to a deterioration in the diplomatic relationship between England and Australia.

Spanning five test matches, the play is more than a story about cricket - it is also about class distinctions, politics, sportsmanship, honour and international relations.

Harold Larwood did not play for England again and died in 1995. In 2002, a memorial to him was unveiled in Kirkby town centre to celebrate one of the district’s most well known sons.

Meanwhile, theatre-goers have the chance to support cricketing stars of the future at a gala performance of The Ashes on 13th September where they can meet cricket stars past and present, enjoy drinks and canapés, view a photographic exhibition - and all the funds raised will go to the children’s charity Belvoir Castle Cricket Trust, which helps get youngsters into the sport.

For your chance to win a pair of tickets to The Ashes, get your copy of this week’s Chad, which is out on sale tomorrow.