Acclaimed writer praises Leslie man

Writer Des Dillon, with his dog
Writer Des Dillon, with his dog
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A RENOWNED playwright who has given a local writer his big break, brings a controversial play to Glenrothes this Sunday, reports KEVIN QUINN.

Des Dillon, author of ‘Six Black Candles’ and ‘Me and Ma Gal’ brings ‘Singing I’m no a Billy he’s a Tim’- an award-winning play which confronts the issue of sectarianism in Scottish football- to the Rothes Halls on Sunday.

Mr Dillon’s company has recently taken on a script written by Leslie writer Michael Kelly, and plan to perform it later next year.

The internationally acclaimed writer was full of praise for Mr Kelly.

He said: “We read it through the other day there. He is a very good writer.

“We are having to change it into Glaswegian though, as I can’t teach people the Fife accent!

“If he had got funding in Fife he could have kept it a Fife play, but he couldn’t get anything there.

“We will do a two and a half week run of it in November next year.

“My aim is to use the money from ‘I’m no a Billy he’s a Tim’ to give other people the opportunity to have their plays put on.

“I want to give these working-class people a chance, as the arts council don’t give them anything.

“I say good on Michael for keeping going with his writing. His dialogue is great.”

Des is proud of his own play, about the Old Firm rivalry and the sectarianism that comes with that.

He said: “It seems to be becoming more and more relevant. I wrote it in 1996, the BBC had asked me to write a piece about football because of Euro 96 but it was too strong for them.

“I think it’s more relevant, in the last five/six years, people are talking about it openly.

“They used to not talk about it at all, they wouldn’t say the name of the play on the radio.

“I’m proud of it. One of the proudest moments was in Belfast when it got a standing ovation and then they made me come out for a standing ovation.

“It’s never got any funding, but it’s done well.”

Mr Dillon is looking forward to bringing his play to Glenrothes. He said: “I just wrote the play to entertain people, I didn’t mean it to be an anti-sectarian play.

“It’s like anything else, if you are in a fight it’s ok, but if you see a fight it looks terrible.

“It’s not the play you think it is. It’s quite moving. Once you get over the swearing maybe. It’s about reconciliation, and I love those kind of stories.

“It’s never been to Glenrothes before, which has that Glasgow over-spill so the grannies and grandads will get it. It’s just a great night out. It’s an entertaining play.”

n Singing I’m no a Billy he’s a Tim, is on at the Rothes Halls (20th), at 7.30pm. Tickets £15.