Carrying David, a true tale of battling boxer, has audience on its feet
For virtually two hours Micky Cochrane captivated the audience as he unfolded the inspirational story of how popular boxer Glenn McCrory rose to become World champion, inspired by his late brother, in the Ed Waugh play Carrying David.
On Sunday afternoon in the Lyric Theatre Belfast, David Hull Promotions staged the one-man play which is based on McCrory's excellent autobiography of the same name and the standing ovation which greeted Cochrane came as no surprise after such an emotionally charged performance.
McCrory's story transcends boxing, giving a raw account of a working class lad from an impoverished area in the north east of England whose adopted brother with a terminal illness drove him on to glory in the ring when at one point he felt his dream had died.
The bond between the two brothers was cemented when Glenn had to carry David to school so neither would be late due to his brother's disability, and Cochrane magnificently captured the love they had for one another. Throughout the tale of hardship that explodes the myth of glamour surrounding a young fighter's climb up the ladder -with a manager who at one point told McCrory post-fight "you owe me money" - Cochrane brought a perfect blend of humour, grit and boundless energy.
With a relentless passion Cochrane narrated McCrory's thoughts and played out his every swing for glory as he faced down Kenyan Patrick Lumumba in pursuit of his world cruiserweight title dream as his wheelchair-bound brother looked on from ringside.
Revealing the moments of pain during the 12 rounds and the inner resolve McCrory drew on throughout the contest, Cochrane brought to life the desire and hunger of a man who had waited his whole life for such a moment.
The play dripped with emotion to the final drop when McCrory's career arrived at the point which he has described as "two brothers, one fight".
Having signed on for his unemployment benefit throughout his early career, which had seen him suffer four defeats, McCrory was crowned world champion and took the microphone to salute family and fans.
"Stanley dole office I'm not coming back!" emphatically brought the curtain down to great applause.
The only question being asked afterwards was when it would be returning to Belfast.