The Scotsman 21 May 2022

Sometimes you get so used to defeat that the possibility of victory is scary. That is the case for Bobby, a supporter of St Johnstone FC, in Oh When the Saints, a new play at Perth Theatre. Written by Martin McCormick, it is the story of a club not overly familiar with footballing triumph.

So much is that the case that when, on 17 May 2014, the team goes head to head with Dundee United, the long-term fan can’t bring himself to go. As his team enjoys a two-nil win at Celtic Park, securing its first ever Scottish Cup, Bobby is elsewhere.

“He has this existential crisis on the day,” says McCormick, who based the incident on a true story. “He wakes up and he can’t go to the game. Failure is so ingrained in him that he opts out. It’s a working-class sense of being confined and trapped. This is a day when he will potentially experience some emotional freedom, but he can’t go through with it.” [READ MORE]

By Mark Fisher

MARK FISHER is a freelance theatre critic and feature writer based in Edinburgh and has written about theatre in Scotland since the late-1980s. He is a theatre critic for The Guardian, a former editor of The List magazine and a frequent contributor to the Scotsman and other publications. He is the co-editor of the play anthology Made in Scotland (1995), and the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide (2012) and How to Write About Theatre (2015) – all Bloomsbury Methuen Drama. He is also the editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls and What Do You Call That Noise? An XTC Discovery Book (both Mark Fisher Ltd).