Big Daddy versus Giant Haystacks Review

Back in the 1970's and 1980's Wrestling on t.v was not American it was British and it was shown on a Saturday afternoon on ITV ad drew millions of viewers.

Two of the biggest (in more than one sense of the word) stars were Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks and it was always THE biggest match in the wrestling calendar.

This story charts the rise of both wrestlers and what a story it is, the show itself is funny, sad, dark, exciting and much more besides and is very well acted out by Ross Gurney-Randall (Big Daddy) and David Mounfield (Giant Haystacks)

The story centres mainly around Big Daddy (real name Shirley Crabtree) and his brother Max Crabtree, Max is a promoter who wants to get Big Daddy to the very top and will stop at pretty much nothing to do so he was the promoter who pretty much ruled British wrestling and was still there at it's demise.

There is an "all-star" cast including Paul McCartney, Princess Margaret, Chris Tarrant and more all ably played by both actors.

There is one or two genuinely moving moments in this show one that even had this reviewer misty eyed but also plenty to make me smile, there were many moments of nostalgia because I grew up watching this wrestling and always loved it even so far as shouting at the t.v as a granny would get up and whack the bad guy (Haystacks and Rollerball Rocco to name but two) and even though it was set-up it was still exciting to watch.

There were plenty of "easy easy" chants from Big Daddy and I'm not ashamed to say I joined in and also with the booing of the bad guy.

Sadly the show came to an end as did wrestling on t.v but this was a show that stirred many memories of watching World of Sport with Dickie Davis and then the Wrestling commentated by Kent Walton and more often than not refereed by Brian Crabtree (Max and Shirley's brother) there were nods to Jackie Pallo, Kendo Nagasaki, Mick McManus, Kid Chocolate and Davy Boy Smith (British Bulldog in WWF).

A wonderful show brilliantly acted and deserves all the plaudits it gets please go and see this show especially if you remember Saturday afternoons in the 70's and 80's watching the wrestling on ITV.
I interviewed Ross and David after and I found out that they had actually played Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks in the recent BBC4 prgrame "When wrestling was Golden" which I actually watched.

I give this show a massive and well deserved 5 ***** Stars for such a fantastic walk down memory lane.

Big Daddy versus Giant Haystacks runs until Monday 26th August at The Box Assembly George Square.

You can hear my chat with Ross and Dave here:

Chat with the stars of Big Daddy V Giant Haystacks by Basher1969 on Mixcloud

Follow them on Twitter: @bighaystacks or on Facebook Big Daddy vs Giant Haystacks.