By 90Min
November 07, 2017

Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle has admitted that he is drawing inspiration from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for his latest stage project. He claims that the German's philosophy of 'gegenpressing' can be introduced into theatre - an unlikely influence from football onto the stage.

Gegenpressing is the principle of pressing on the opposition high up the pitch, rather than sitting back and letting your defence settle. The high tempo defensive system is becoming increasingly popular in today's game - and now appears to be spreading to a further reach than just football.

Currently working on The Children’s Monologues in New York, director Boyle has discussed where he wants to take this technique.

“Everything that you do, you’re finding stuff that speaks to you in some way and then you’re trying to make it as compelling as possible, an experience for other people to inherit in some way," Boyle told Evening Standard.

“Whether they [audience members] are paying or whether it’s free, that’s the pressure obviously on yourself. It’s like Jürgen Klopp [and] gegenpressing.

Image by Andrew Headspeath

"That’s when you take and press the moment and just press it and you make it so intense, so vibrant…we’re applying Klopp’s theories to the Carnegie Hall.”

The play, which involves the heavyweight likes of Andrew Garfield, Catherine Zeta-Jones and James McAvoy, is being performed for the charity Dramatic Need. Directed by Boyle, the man who brought box office hits Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire to life sees similarities between football management and directing.

“It’s the same thing as a football manager and whether they’re successful or not," he added.

"You provide a vision which you either describe well or badly. If you describe it well the vision’s got more chance of working, but also if the vision can be something that people can buy into."

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