Cool Dads

Oran Mor, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

four stars

Whatever partisan tensions and supportive chantings filled the ground when Manchester City recently took on Watford - well, that rivalry is as naught, compared to the feelings running high on the sidelines at the first round of the Under 14’s Scottish Cup. Up against the mighty Kings of Rosshill, can underdogs Mosspark even score, let alone triumph? Well if parent-power could put the ball in the net for them, Mosspark would blooter their opposition with a 6 - 0 finish.

It’s on these Saturday sidelines that Simon Macallum pitches the aggro and the action in his play, Cool Dads. Danny (Adam Robertson), Graham (Kris McDowall) and Angie (Natali McCleary) are in position, ready to root for Mosspark. Angie has, as per usual, brought the flask of tea for the (male) supporters. Danny, as usual, has brought fixated ambitions for his own son: never mind the team - his lad must get seen and scouted for future professional glory. Graham? He has unfulfilled career dreams of his own - not footie-related, but as usual in need of financial support from his mate Danny. When the trio are joined by Mosspark’s coach, Paul (David McGowan), a long-standing grudge match emerges on the touchline...

Macallum’s cannily observed script thrives on letting home truths filter into play. Sometimes they’re funny, and made even more so by the spot-on comic timing of the cast. But sometimes they’re bitter: full of bygone, youthful resentments that have seethed on, into adult life. Having sons in a school football team is now a re-play of dreams that failed to make the premiere league. Actually, Angie could have been a contender - Macallum’s references to women’s teams are, in every sense, on the ball - but it’s Angie who is mature enough to put the needs of her kids first. I won’t give away the final score but, briskly directed by Neil Leiper, this is a winning way to pass a lunchtime.

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L to R - Adam Robertson, Kris McDowall, Natalie McCleary and David McGowan in Cool Dads

photo - Leslie Black

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L to R - David McGowan, Adam Robertson, Kris McDowall and Natali McCleary in Cool Dads

photo - Leslie Black