Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

George Best's footballing genius to be celebrated through music and dance

Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964
Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964
George Best played by Tom Payne

A local company is planning to bring George Best's incredible biography to the stage by depicting the Manchester United and Northern Ireland superstar through music and contemporary dance.

Belfast-based Maiden Voyage, a multinational dance troupe, will act out some of Best's greatest moves in a homage to the footballing star.

The choreographer is established Scottish dancer and football enthusiast Andy Howitt.

Describing the production as a “labour of love”, Mr Howitt said: “The grace with which George Best worked the pitch has always amazed me and I am honoured to pay a tribute to his greatest through this performance.”

The performance will take Best from his early days on Belfast's Cregagh estate to Manchester, then the European Cup final against Benfica and finally his life in Los Angeles.

The dancers will also reproduce one of the most controversial Best ‘goals’ of his career — the ball he kicked out of Gordon Banks's hand then headed into the England net at Windsor Park on May 15, 1971. To much chagrin, it was disallowed.

Best's sister Barbara McNarry said: “It totally works. I am completely new to contemporary dance and was very impressed and moved by what I saw.”

‘Best’ opens at the Tower Street Theatre in Belfast Metropolitan College on February 18 and will then visit Armagh, Derry, Lisburn, Omagh and Downpatrick.

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