Following a sellout tour in November 2016, Dougie Blaxland’s critically acclaimed one man show When The Eye Has Gone is returning to the road as part of a UK National tour in March 2017.
When The Eye Has Gone tells the all too brief life of Colin “Ollie” Milburn – the cricketing legend who was one of England’s most unlikely sporting heroes. Full of anecdotes, a thumping soundtrack and a large gin and coke, the story swings backwards and forwards through Milburn’s life as he raises a glass to the triumphs, including his first Test Century against the West Indies at Lords in 1966 and the disasters, like losing his left eye in a car accident in 1969.
The extraordinary story of Colin Milburn has all the hallmarks of a Greek tragedy. In 1966 he became a household name, scoring a blistering century against the mighty West Indies in only his second test. He then caused a major sensation playing for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield smashing 243 against Queensland at Brisbane in an innings described by Don Bradman as “the greatest innings played by an Englishman on Australian soil”. This was quickly followed by another glorious century for England against Pakistan in Lahore.
Just a few weeks later, on his triumphant return to England, he lost his left eye in a car crash in Northampton, an injury that effectively ended his career and life prospects. His subsequent decline into alcoholism ended with his death from a heart attack at the age of 48. Ian Botham was one of the pall bearers.
Originally commissioned by The Professional Cricketers’ Association for Mind Matters, their mental health awareness programme, When The Eye Has Gone was written by the award-winning playwright Dougie Blaxland, nom de plume of James Graham-Brown, a former Derbyshire and Kent all-rounder and directed by Roughhouse Theatre.
The part of Colin Milburn is played by GSA graduate Dan Gaisford. Dan has worked extensively in TV, film and theatre and his recent credits include Clybourne Park (Mercury Theatre Colchester), Kidnapped (Brassworks Theatre) and Henry Walker and the Wheel of Death (Roughhouse Theatre).
Reviews for When The Eye Has Gone
“…brimming with charisma and honesty. Blaxland has skillfully worked Milburn’s life into an arresting parable.”
**** (4 Stars) THE STAGE
“…what makes Blaxland’s piece so compelling is that Milburn’s is a universal tale…(his) exuberance was brilliantly resurrected by Dan Gaisford.”
“a mesmeric virtuoso performance which was every bit as gripping as one of Milburn’s swashbuckling innings.”
“a tour de force”
“Roughhouse Theatre has created a brilliant show whose boundaries extend well beyond the world of cricket.”
BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE
Full tour details can be found here: www.roughhousetheatre.com/whentheeyehasgone