Moorcroft: A play that is as hilarious as it is poignant ★★★★★

3 mins read

A cast of charismatic actors takes the audience to 80s working class Glasgow in this play based on real stories.

Upon entering the theatre, the audience is greeted by a set that captured the world that these young men lived in. Football scarves on a washing line, and a pub backdrop introduce the elements of this group’s friendship: football and meeting at the pub.

The play opens with “Garry”, played by Martin Docherty, expressing disdain for turning 50 and the life he lives now, before taking the audience to his happier life in the 80s.

The pub set is filled with the energetic cast, joking and laughing with each other. Garry proposes the idea of starting a football team, to which the others dismiss. As Garry recruits his friends one by one, he gives a view into what these young men are like; from their past to how they got their nicknames.

Through the course of the play, Moorcroft’s well-organized choreography immerses the audience in the football practice, matches and clubbing scenes.

Outside of the sprightly dancing and animated chatter, the seven young men faced struggles that still grip working-class men now. Writer and director Eilidh Loan gave each young man a conflict to grapple with.

Image credit: Tron Theatre

A look into working-class masculinity

Homophobia, racism, domestic violence, terminal illness, and alcoholism plagues each member of the young football team.

On top of this, the men deal with loss and mental health struggles as the play progresses.

The plot throws the audience from fits of laughter to heavy hearts as the team blooms and develops.

The internal conflicts of Moorcroft’s cast were laid bare during several grave scenes. And despite the time the play was set, the group of friends aided one another in what ways they knew. In 2023, people better understand the repercussions of bottling up your emotions; and Loan reminds the audience of the concept of modern and past masculinity.

In closing, Loan’s play shows the highs and lows of working class life in Glasgow. From the camaraderie created by football, to the rifts caused by prejudice and trauma. The dialogue, choreography, characters, and themes were authentic and strong.

Featured Mihaela Bodlovic

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First year journalism student. From Aboyne, Aberdeenshire but lived in Doha for eight years.

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