Produced by GBL Productions, Dancing Shoes – The George Best Story is co-written by Marie Jones and Martin Lynch with music and lyrics by Glasgow’s JJ Gilmour (The Silencers) and Belfast’s Pat Gribben (The Adventures), and was first premiered at Belfast Grand Opera House last summer, playing to 23,000 people in three weeks.
Directed by Dublin’s Peter Sheridan (Shawshank Redemption which played in the West End), Dancing Shoes tells the story of ex-Manchester United football legend, George Best (played by Irish actor Aidan O’Neill). From his childhood days kicking a tennis ball against a gable wall in East Belfast to the height of fame and celebrity. However, the story doesn’t shy away from Best’s addiction to alcohol and his ultimate decline.
A final hilarious scene between Best and Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins had the Belfast audiences on their feet cheering for more. The musical has had support from Best’s family including his son Calum. Best died in 2005 from multiple organ failure brought on due to a kidney infection, caused by a side effect to the drugs he was required to take after a kidney transplant. He was 59 years old.
Sheridan said: “People nowadays have to remember that George Best was the original David Beckham. He had all the fame in the world, romanced several ex-Miss Worlds and did enough drinking to rival the best. It’s all there. A fantastic story, I know audiences will love it.”
Dancing Shoes – The George Best Story has already enthralled audiences in Ireland and also in Northern Ireland as part of its UK tour. The play also goes on to play the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow, then returns to Ireland for further dates. The musical visits The Lowry from Monday 5 until Saturday 10 September 2011.