Have you read today about a new musical which is opening down under this week? Incredibly it’s about the life of Australian spin bowler Shane Warne, or ‘Warnie’ as he is affectionately known by Bruce and Sheila. You’d think that a musical celebrating anything to do with cricket, even one about the greatest spin bowler ever (well, from Melbourne), might be a little humdrum but this is supposed to be a hoot. It’s less to do with his cricketing skills and everything to do with his love of food, bleached hair (and subsequent hair transplants), shagging women other than his wife, cheesey flirty texting, pill popping, sledging, illegal Indian bookies, smoking and boozing. Yep an everyday tale about yer average Ozzie bloke. Except this one’s famous and, as the Carling ad might put it, probably the best (ie only) liked Australian cricketer outside Kangaland. Warnie himself thinks it’s an outrage but it sounds outrageously good fun to me and I’d love to see it.
Anyway it got me thinking about which other sports stars’ lives might make for a rollicking West End/Broadway hit. Georgie Best’s for sure – he makes Warnie seem like a Trappist monk by comparison but we all know how it ended in real life and it’s not going to make for an uplifting finale is it? I think Wayne Rooney the Musical could be great fun – all that scouse humour, red mists, fighting families, granny prostitutes, Colleen’s transformation into the uber-WAG, Sir Alex’s half-time hairdrier rants, the Champions’s league trophies. It’s all there, triumphs and upsets from the back streets of Liverpool to Mancunian Way. Take That singing the finale. Oh I can see it now.
Anyone else? The Beckhams I guess but who’d play the Golden Couple? Shane Ritchie for Eastender DB might be a laugh but we’d need to find somebody who could capture Victoria’s preening and vacuous nature, that manufactured look, pneumatic figure and hopeless singing capability. Trouble is Danii Minogue’s tied up on X Factor. Ah well.
Next up: ‘Boycott; tha knows!’ What a subject for a musical – all that eh up yorkshire grit, the funny accents that would make for some belting songs (‘e tuke a wickit at t’crickit), panama hats, womanising/beating (‘it were naht but an accident yer ‘onner), outspokenness (that Shane Warne’s a reet fooking pansy) with a setting in Barnsley allowing cameo appearances from those other professional, sorry proud, Yorkshiremen Michael Parkinson, Dickie Bird and Alan Titchmarsh. There wouldn’t be a dry eye from Pontefract to Pudsey.
Finally what about Martina the Musical? The story of a poor Czech girl from behind the Iron Curtain who escapes to start a new life in the West thanks to her amazing tennis skills. She’s the greatest female player the world has ever seen don’t you know. As well as discovering wealth and success in the sport she also finds out that ladies’ doubles is what she’s good at on the court … and off it. Isn’t life ironic? It’s just as well really because she’s got a physique that Brad Pitt would envy. The only downside with the musical might be the songs themselves. I’m sure the lyrics would be fine; it’s just that songs aren’t too melodic when sung in that monotone single note speech style perfected by eastern european female tennis players. Pity really. She’ll have to content herself with becoming King of the Jungle.
I’m sure you guys can suggest many better ideas for sporty musicals – the downhills are alive…..