Football has inspired a number of theatrical productions over the years with Celtic, Rangers and Partick Thistle all getting in on the act. I can only recall one Scotland play however – from 1982 entitled ‘The Game’ – it was set in a Glasgow living-room against the background of the 1978 World Cup Finals and was a tragi-comedy in three Acts [Act 1-Peru, Act 2-Iran and Act 3-the Netherlands ].
The author’s programme notes suggest that football has become a surrogate religion for the working man, who needs the thought of the game on Saturday to get him through the rest of the week. In addition, he argues that the violence of Scots fans invading Wembley should be contrasted with the much more insidious violence of those who are transforming Scotland into Britain ’s nuclear dustbin. As such, ‘The Game’ attempts to integrate politics with entertainment.
Lofty, noble ambitions or pretentious pish? Anyway, ‘The Game’ ran for 13 nights [which was longer than Scotland lasted in the 1978 World Cup-or any world cup].The trials and tribulations of supporting Scotland surely offers playwrights a rich seam of material but I challenge anyone to pen a comedy about the Berti Vogts years!
From the pretentious to the presumptious, self-congratulatory-sounding ie the exhibition ‘More than a Game: How Scotland shaped world football’ at Glasgow ’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum [ Which ran from March to August 2013 ].
Scotland has indeed played a significant role in the growth of the game of football- from Scottish regiments in India to railway engineers and textile entrepreneurs in North and South America, the world game was significantly shaped by Scots and our short passing game of the late 19th century, which makes it all the more galling that in the first part of the 21st century we appeared to have lost our way completely.
And then out of the darkness came WGS….
Robert ‘Luvvie’ Marshall
First posted on Facebook April 26th, 2015