Grannies across Wales may have recounted the story of one of the nation’s biggest bad boys, who forced them to lunge at the TV set with handbags on Saturday afternoons. That is if your gran was a fan of wrestling and owned a TV set. As we all know though, grans have a habit of getting things wrong sometimes and they have selective memories, which don’t always reveal the truth. Read between the lines of those well spun yarns about the long haired blonde bombshell in multicoloured lycra dancing his way around the wrestling ring and you have the story of Adrian Street, ‘You May Be Pretty, But I Am Beautiful’, a film by thirty-two-year-old film producer and director Joann Randles from Saundersfoot now living in Swansea.
The Adrian Street Story,” is released worldwide on several video ‘ondemand’ platforms telling the story of flamboyant Welsh wrestler Adrian Street. The documentary is a fantastic achievement for Joann, who has persisted against commercial obstacles over several years to share Adrian’s story which follows his early life, growing up in a mining family in Brynmawr, South Wales, with a strong ambition to be different and achieve a better life style, to Adrian running away from home and gain international wrestling and technicolour stardom.
There are many words to describe Adrian Street – flamboyant, eccentric, risqué, enigmatic, unique, extraordinary, Adrian has also claimed to have even inspired others like Elton John and Marc Bolan – and Joann’s documentary on Adrian’s story is all of these things, reflecting his inimical personality and life. Adrian was more than a wrestler, he was a trailblazer who paved the way in a conservative 1960’s and 1970’s Britain. With his flamboyant persona, vibrant costumes, art and music, Adrian was a chameleon who went above and beyond what was deemed appropriate at the time, by pushing boundaries in a way that no other artist in the entertainment business had done before.
“You May Be Pretty, But I Am Beautiful: The Adrian Street Story” was conceived as Joann was determined to make a production that is of significance, to find a story that was unique and not only resonate with audiences, but would also be compelling and thoroughly entertaining. In Adrian, Joann saw a story about a young man, who against all the odds put against him, pursued his dreams and paved the way for change. Adrian’s story is not only thought provoking, but is also an important part of British cultural history that almost seems to be lost. His story is powerful and up-lifting. After much research, Adrian’s story can only be described as a real life ‘Cinderella’ Story, without the glass slipper! “He is one of those legendary figures in our business who could hurt you really bad, really quickly, and that’s fascinating.” Mick Foley – WWE professional wrestler. “He was setting off a firework, in a time when it was all darkness.” Adam Hassan, professional wrestler.
The production was screened last year at Adrian’s hometown of Brynmawr, in the famous Market Hall Cinema and received positive feedback with the audience leading to this international release after Joann signed a distribution deal with U.S. based distributor. Featured in the production are interviews with the showman himself Adrian, his wife and assistant Linda, family, colleagues, fans and world famous wrestlers, Mick Foley and Stu Bennett. Thoroughly entertaining and paying homage to the social challenges Adrian faced in developing his career to the iconic recognition he has achieved, the documentary will appeal to a wide audience, not just wrestling Page 1 of 5 fans, who will be able to download the documentary from several on-demand video platforms [full confirmed list of platforms will be provided on Monday 3rd August].
A review of the documentary is as follows: 10/10 – IMDB (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5544018/) Superb! I was lucky enough to see this title at a film festival in May 2019. It was not only one of the highlights of the festival for me, but an impressively poignant piece of cinema, that remains firm in my heart and emotional pride even to this day. Sadly, it didn’t win an (thoroughly deserved) accolade or accreditation at the festival I attended, especially after making such a profound impact on my personal experience of movie and documentary entertainment, but I am pleased to find it continues to be rightfully acclaimed, and I have no doubts that it will continue to serve as an important benchmark in storytelling. An inspiring and heart warming true story about a Welsh wrestling athlete, who broke down barriers and wasn’t afraid to both walk the line…. and cross it, flamboyantly no less, back when nobody dared do anything but conform to what ‘society’ deemed ‘acceptable.’ A hero and a trend-setter for generations to come. All beautifully portrayed and masterfully documented, giving this tale, and its protagonist, a righteous passage into welsh history and, ultimately, serving as the (ironically fitting) ‘magnificent’ platform to etch both into legend. Fantastic viewing. Not to be missed.