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Celtic on stage
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Stage Plays and Theatre PerformancesIn recent decades a number of stage plays have been written and performed about Celtic or events in the club's history.
THE CELTIC STORYIn its Centenary season the club commissioned leading Scottish theatre company "Wildcat" to create and perform 'The Celtic Story' which ran at the Pavilion Theatre in Glasgow from 30 April 1988 to 25 June 1988. The play proved a huge success and was revived with a further run some years later. In the original run actors included Dorothy Paul and Peter Mullan.
On the poster & program the team photo is actually a mock-up. The first team at the time all dressed up in 1880's period team-kit and posed for a team photo.
THE LIONS OF LISBONTo celebrate the 25th anniversary of Celtic's European Cup success, Willy Maley and Ian Auld (brother of Bertie) wrote a play about the Lisbon experience from the perspective of the fans. It was produced by the Penny Mob Theatre Co. and ran at the Tron Theatre and other venues in Glasgow and beyond in 1992.
From the Glasgow Herald, 19 Dec 1991:
"The show, The Lions of Lisbon, is the result of a meeting between playwright Willy Maley and actor and songwriter Ian Auld, brother of Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld. Maley was working as writer-in-residence at Milton library during 1990 when the two fell to discussing Wildcat's Celtic Story. Perceiving a drama in the tale of the Celts travelling support to that European Cup triumph, timed to coincide with its silver anniversary (and let's face it, they could do with being reminded of it at Parkhead these days), the co-authors are putting the finishing touches to the script. The plan is that the play will have a rehearsed reading in the Jock Stein lounge at Paradise before opening in Royston, with entry priced at a mere 1p. It will then go on to a community tour before its dates during May. An Edinburgh Festival Fringe run is planned after that."
ON OUR WAY TO LISBONThis two-man stage play written by Patrick Prior and brought to the stage by the Iscosceles Theatre Company ran at the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow in 2002 and more recently at the King's Theatre in 2008. The same two actors - Pat Abernethy and Dave Marsden - appeared on both runs.
The play was reviewed by Not the View fanzine here.
SINGIN' I'M NO A BILLY HE'S A TIM
Written by Coatbridge-born playwright and author Des Dillon, 'Singin' I'm No A Billy...' is billed as an exploration of bigotry and ethnic identity. It focuses on events when a Celtic supporter and a Rangers fan are locked up together in a cell on the day of a big derby game.
Des Dillion has previously contributed to the Celtic Minded series of books.
Review of Singin' I'm No a Billy He's a Tim from the Guardian Newspaper
3 out of 5 Mark Fisher
The Guardian, Tuesday 9 June 2009
Ever since Hector McMillan's The Sash in 1974, there has been a popular market in Scotland for broad comedies on a sectarian theme. And one look at the audience crowding into the Citizens tells you Des Dillon's Singin' I'm No a Billy He's a Tim is reaching the parts that other theatre can't reach. Produced by the unfunded NLP company, with an uninspiring, low-budget set, it has enjoyed a second sell-out tour of Scotland, with dates lined up in Northern Ireland later in the year. All this while passing under the theatre establishment radar.
You couldn't call it sophisticated, but the production is good fun. Dillon's key gag is to throw two football fans from either side of Glasgow's sectarian divide - Catholic Celtic, Protestant Rangers - into a police cell on the day of an Old Firm match. Tim and Billy (nobody said this was subtle) have to negotiate a path between their desire to see the game and their inbred hatred of each other. In the process, they realise the foolishness of their bigotry.
The trajectory is predictable; the skill lies in Dillon's careful balance between recognising, even celebrating the tribal affiliations of both sides and pointing out that the kind of songs that glory in being "up to our knees in Fenian blood" would be intolerable in any other cultural setting. His raucous sense of humour and keen understanding of the west-coast sectarian mindset make his sisters-under-the-skin message seem a matter of urgency and not just a liberal platitude.
In this, he is aided by the tremendous performances of Scott Kyle (Billy) and Colin Little (Tim), who have a perfect feel for the machismo of the terraces, the stakes involved in the peace process and the no-nonsense comedy of Dillon's script.
The Prince - The Johnny Thomson Story(2011)
By: Newsroom Staff on 17 Aug, 2011 09:47
THE 80th Anniversary of the death of John Thomson is almost upon us and the occasion will be marked on the stage of the King’s Theatre by a timely re-telling of his life story.
It will be produced in conjunction with the Ambassador Theatre Group and will open on September 5, 2011, significantly marking the 80th Anniversary of the Celtic legend’s passing, and run until September 10.
The original production tells the life story of the legendary keeper, who stood guard between the sticks for Celtic for just over four seasons.
But with his career ending prematurely at the age of 22, shining star, Johnny, died after a collision on the field of play in 1931, with so much still to offer both on and off the pitch.
Co-writers Brian McGeachan and Gerry McDade wanted to capture this by delving into Johnny’s world before the tragedy and have done so by setting the play against the backdrops of his native Fife, and Glasgow, in the late 1920s.
The writers have delivered an entertaining, sad, but also uplifting production.
Gerry McDade said: “I wanted to look at it and ask, what was he like as a person? What was it like for him when he moved here from Fife?
“He was a young man in Glasgow and he was fitting in with legends like Jimmy McGrory, so you have to take a step back and decide not to look at it from the perspective of his death, but from the life he had before that.
“That’s why we talk about celebrating the legend but commemorating the hero at the same time. You have to have that double edge to it and step into his boots.”
While on the pitch John made over 200 appearances for Celtic, won two Scottish Cup medals and was the Scottish internationalist keeper.
Off the field, he was a wonderful character and Gerry wanted to share the keeper’s happy memories and funny stories in order to give the audience a feel for who he was personally.
Gerry added: “We’re using a couple of contemporary Celtic supporters to set up the story and narrate the play.
“We are looking at certain incidents in his life, for instance, he was a phenomenal sportsman.
"There’s a story about them going to the swimming baths one day and Johnny, who had never dived in his life, pulled out a dive that an Olympic swimmer would have been proud of.
“You can see the humour in that so there’s that element that we want to bring to it too.
“The story is a tragedy and that brings its own dimension to it, but the trick is to get an entertaining story out of it as well.”
Monday, September 5 – Saturday, September 10: 7.30pm
Wednesday & Saturday Matinee: 2.30pm
Ticket prices are £12 - £26 and available from the following outlets:
Telephone Sales: 0844 871 7648 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0844 871 7648 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (Booking fee applies)
Groups & Schools: 0844 871 7602 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0844 871 7602 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
To buy online, go to www.atgtickets.com/glasgow
(Booking fee applies)
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, Jul 10 2012, 3:55 PM EDT
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