Success on a play

Michael Kelly at home in Leslie with his play that has been picked up by Des Dillon
Michael Kelly at home in Leslie with his play that has been picked up by Des Dillon

A LOCAL writer with dyslexia is celebrating after his play was taken on by a renowned playright, reports KEVIN QUINN.

Leslie man Michael Kelly has written film scripts and books over the years, but now a play he has written about the comic goings-on at a local bingo hall will be taken on tour by internationally acclaimed award-winning writer Des Dillon.

Mr Kelly is delighted that the play, ‘And all because the ladies love the bingo’, has been taken on by such an established writer.

He said: “He wants to take it on a tour of Scotland and Ireland early next year.

“I have seen his plays and read his books, he knows what he is doing. Writing for River City, Taggart. So for a man like that to say that my writing is brilliant, I don’t know what to say.

“In writing circles he is the best in Scotland. I just can’t describe how I feel. I’m over the moon, after all these years of trying things to get somewhere in the industry, it’s a hard old game.”

Mr Kelly explained how he knows Mr Dillon and thanked Ron Nicol from the Glenrothes Theatre Company for bringing his play to life.

He said: “I met Des at a weekend course for Scottish Screen he did in 2001. I got invited on to this course for a film script I wrote. He guided me through my script and told me it was brilliant. We have just stayed in touch since.

“Ron Nicol gave me a lot of guidance on the play too. His theatre company made it come alive when they read it through about three weeks ago, they were in hysterics. Des thinks it’s funny too.

“It’s not for me to say how good it is though. Des has a lot of faith in it, as has Ron Nicol.

“I’m dedicating this play to Ron, his wife and the theatre company for giving me a chance, making it come alive.”

Mr Kelly is thankful his perseverance has paid off and added his hope to put the play on in his hometown before it tours.

He said: “You just can’t give up. When your heart is set on something then you have got to go for it. Despite the setbacks, the dyslexia and learning difficulties I just kept on going.

“Leslie is full of storytellers and I’m just one of them.

“I want it held in Leslie Town Hall first, because over the years it has been Leslie people that have supported me. It has been overwhelming.

“They tell me how much they like my books and how they have sent them all over the world.”

Ron Nicol from the Glenrothes Theatre Company was happy to help Mr Kelly with his play.

He said: “We thought it was incredibly funny.

“Michael had approached me and asked if I could take a look at it because as far as I know he hadn’t done a play before.

“For a group to take on a play by a untried playright, a lot will depend on what they will do with it.

“I imagine that in the right hands it should do extremely well.”