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Touching the Blue

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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This snooker-centred monologue stars Clive Russell as fictional former world champion Derek 'The Thunderbolt Kid' Hodges.

Coming so soon after the death of Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins, there's added poignancy in this story of a heroic former champion broken by booze and a series of failed relationships.

Russell performs with a Billy Connolly-esque virtuoso vigour, gesticulating wildly as he recounts his former glories in the dressing room at the Crucible Theatre, where he's returned for one last hurrah.

The action is punctuated by vox-pops with a series of famous snooker faces, including John Virgo, Dennis Taylor and Willie Thorne. And Leslie 'Dirty Den' Grantham pops up too, giving a rather dubious on-screen performance as Hodges' arch nemesis Max Langton.

This perhaps isn't scintillating drama for non-snooker fans, but Russell's swaggering performance racks up plenty of points.


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