Men talking about mental health has come a long way. So, it was uplifting to see an all-male group jostling for photographs in front of a promotional poster for Moorcroft.
Wearing Men’s Shed hoodies with slogan’s saying, “it’s alright to talk”, it was clear they were heartened by the ethos of the play they were about to see.
Written by Eilidh Loan, this powerful story played out by Tron Theatre Company in conjunction with National Theatre of Scotland, is truly inspirational as well as funny and goes a long way to Eilidh’s hope for a “relatable story, one that might bring people to a place where they are able to share their own experiences and maybe release some of the things we all tend to bottle up.”
Beautifully told and acted, it brought a tear to many an eye at The Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock.
Based on stories Eilidh’s dad told as she grew up watching the game on the sidelines when his playing career had finished, the play centres around Garry who has turned 50, but doesn’t feel like celebrating.
Exhausted from years spent wrapped in regret, he begins to relive ‘the glory days’, trying to understand his mistakes, answer questions and right some wrongs in a bid to make peace with his past and find renewed purpose.
Moorcroft follows a group of young lads, Paul (Sean Connor), Sooty (Kyle Gardiner), Mince (Bailey Newsome), Mick (Jatinder Singh Randhawa, Noodles (Santion Smith) and Tubs (Dylan Wood) as they try to find an escape from their boring working class life.
Narrated by Garry (Martin Docherty) and with a simple set and costumes using clothing belonging to the original boys, the play is a mixture of sentiment and hilarity.
It tackles issues of sexuality, race and suicide and tackles toxic masculinity in Scotland in a gentle, but awe inspiring way.
Honest and exciting with some really wonderful acting from all the cast, especially Bailey Newsome whose comic timing as Mince was a delight.
I think we can safely say, Eilidh’s sensitivity and wonderful writing will open minds and encourage people to share their journeys. Sure, her dad is as proud as punch!
Moorcroft is on tour throughout Scotland, ending at The Platform in Easterhouse, Glasgow on 4th November. For ticket information, please visit: www.nationaltheatrescotland.com.
Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.
Photographs by Mihaela Bodlovic