Oran Mor, Glasgow
May 20 – 25, 2019
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
No sooner had the house announcer proclaimed “…with no further ado…” than the room fell silent and dark and we were catapulted straight into the action. The spotlight fell on an ever so green set, with two supporters standing on the touchline for the first round of the under 14’s Scottish Cup where their boys’ team, Mosspark, faces the mighty Kings of Rosshill. The banter between the sardonic Danny (Adam Robertson) and his pal Graham (Kris McDowall) was fierce and authentic, with Graham clearly terrified of the opposing team. Along comes the team coach, Paul (David McGowan), making a big impact in his tracksuit, along with larger than life Angie (Natali McCleary) who soon makes her presence felt.
The four of them, long term – and long suffering – fans, talk football and offer contrasting opinions and guidance from the side lines, yelling their gratuitous advice and instructions in the familiar manner of fans the world over. We see Danny unable to shift out of his negative mindset – even when their team scores, and then wins the match, he can’t find praise for the youngsters. His ranting becomes more and more aggressive as if he can’t stop himself while friend Graham keeps his back from any fray and tries to guide Danny towards a more peaceful mood.
It turned out there was history between Danny and coach Paul – they had a falling out when Paul’s football career was cut short due to an injury caused by Danny, something Paul had never been able to forgive. The two nearly come to blows, but Angie intervened and in an angry outburst she puts them in their place by shouting that life could ultimately be a lot harder and that in fact no-one had the right to think of themselves as the ‘cool dads’ that they think they were because there’s always something new to learn. In the course of these exchanges we came to realise that Danny had never known his own father, something he found hard to accept and which perhaps was at the root of all his troubles.
So there you have it – a great play not just about football (though that too) but about life and learning and living with our past. An enthralling hour full of gusto, passion and an ultimately moving story. What’s not to love?