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An Evening with Eric Cantona – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Matthew Forrest

A thunderous standing ovation greets Eric Cantona as he arrives on stage and he hadn’t uttered a word at this point. Such is Cantona’s presence that he can control a room with a mere hand gesture, a simple look, not that he’ll need to use these skills as for the next 45 minutes he is in the company of friends, for the Lyric Theatre is a stone’s throw from Old Trafford: the home of Manchester United, and judging by the crowd’s reaction he has a hometown crowd in this afternoon. For five years, Cantona plied his trade, earning a reputation as one of the great footballers of his generation and was instrumental in United’s success.

Cantona gives his thoughts on everything, from modern day football to art and his love for Banksy. We are given a unique insight into his time in English Football, with not just Manchester United, but Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday, as well as his relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Regardless whether it’s on the football pitch or on the stage, Cantona is always watchable, an engaging, charismatic figure who can certainly tell a story or two and seemingly doesn’t take himself too seriously. The format for the show seems a bit stale, as Cantona is asked the same question from previous shows and there seems little room for improvisation or deviation. The interviewer (name not given) doesn’t press Cantona on any of his answers given and is just happy to scratch the surface of the subjects rather than delve any deeper.

Cantona is more interesting when talking about aspects of his life that you may be less familiar with, such as acting and his grandparent’s contribution to the Spanish Civil War, this is when you get a brief glimpse of what makes the man tick.

Obviously football fans will lap it up, however, Cantona’s charm and wit will bowl just about anyone over the real disappointment is that the show could have been so much more, with so much left unsaid about this enigmatic, unique talent that you can’t help but feel  a little disappointed

Reviewed 28 October 2018 | Image: Contributed

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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  1. I attended sunday evening show and it began well with Eric talking about his families history ,his time in football in England and why he left France. I agree with the comments about the interviewer. He was very poor and very predictable. Eric and his fans deserve more. The evening unfortunately was driven by some loud members of the audience who just wanted to sing their terrace songs and seemingly not interested at times to let Eric talk further.All in all a bit of a letdown. Had the potential to be so much more. Two out of five for me.

  2. We love Cantona. But do we love the image or the person? We’ll never know because the opportunity he gave us to find out more about the man was wasted by a poor format, a lack of enthusiasm and, to be frank, a feeling that someone, somewhere thought, “here’s a product that we can make a lot of money out from”. That night we drank the milk of the sacred cow but left feeling that the milk was sour.

  3. Was at the Dublin show last Thursday. Love Eric but struggled to enjoy the shoe due to the crowd, one of the worst I’ve ever been in. Far too many people in the crowd more interested in shouting out stupid things and trying to sing than actually listen to what Cantona had to say. Really poorly organised but Eric was engaging (when I could hear him).

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