Derek Hodges is a washed up former snooker champion.

World champion at 17, today he's a complete outsider. In this powerful new one-man play, Derek grapples with his demons as he tries to prove he still has what it takes in a tale that will strike a chord with both snooker fans and those who've never watched a game in their lives.

The world premiere of Touching the Blue, the debut Edinburgh play from writer-director Joe Wenborne, comes to the Assembly Rooms this festival with previews having already caused excitement in the snooker world, with former world champions and industry figures sending plaudits.

Touching the Blue stars Clive Russell, in a return to the stage for the versatile Scottish actor who has featured in many of the best loved television shows of the past 50 years - from Coronation Street to Spaced via Hope and Glory, Happiness, the BBC's Middlemarch and Auf Wiedersehen Pet. His film work has included Guy Richie's Sherlock Holmes, Wolfman, Robin Hardy's Wicker Tree and Margaret's Museum, opposite Helena Bonham Carter.

Touching the Blue also includes video appearances from snooker greats Dennis Taylor, Ken Doherty, John Virgo and Willie Thorne, along with TV's favourite bad guy Leslie Grantham (EastEnders's Dirty Den) as rival snooker ace and Derek Hodges arch enemy Max Langton.

Gripping, bittersweet and poignant, but ultimately inspiring, Touching the Blue is a tale for all who know what it's like when you don't get the breaks.

Drawing Room
Assembly@George St
15.30 (ends 16.30)
5 - 29 August
Previews 5, 6 August - £5
Aug 7-8, 13-15,20-22,26-29
£12.50 (£11.50)
Aug 9-12,17-19,23-25
£11 (£10)
0131 623 3030

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