Kevin Graham with A Celtic State of Mind – Going back to 1998 to Smell the Glove, Stop the Ten and Bend it like Brattbakk

21 years after Dunfermline’s Craig Faulconbridge delayed Wim Jansen’s title celebrations, Bend it like Brattbakk is returning to Glasgow for a run of five shows at the SEC.

Jansen’s heroes of 1997/98 came together in an age when Rangers were insidiously given the combination to a bank vault that they never thought to replenish. Celtic realised that they had to stop the Ibrox side’s rotten domination of Scottish football by legal means, and they did so with some shrewd acquisitions.

They were galvanised by the arrival of Craig Burley, Paul Lambert, Jonathan Gould and Henrik Larsson, and the pendulum slowly swang in the direction of Glasgow’s east end. Norwegian internationalist, Harold Brattbakk, bolstered the strike-force in December and the often misfiring forward went on to be an unlikely cult hero.

Wim Jansen’s side had a team-spirit the equal of any in the club’s modern age. They went on to stop the ten, to win the double, to Smell the Glove.

Playwright, Jim Orr, is now bringing the story of that remarkable season to life in the critically-acclaimed Bend it like Brattbakk.

Watch the creator and cast of Bend it like Brattbakk with A Celtic State of Mind

Tickets are now available directly from the following link:

Bend it like Brattbakk tickets

A Celtic State of Mind’s Kevin Graham attended the first run of Bend it like Brattbakk last year, and here was his review after a memorable evening in Websters Theatre:

Jim Orr’s second comedy play Bend It like Brattbakk is the story of Tam Lyons, Maggie Lyons and her boyfriend Nat Christie during the 1997/98 season where Celtic were attempting to stop ‘the ten’.  

Football and Celtic are the subjects that attract a captive audience, but they’re just the petri dish for the topics of obsession, faith, family, mortality and the human fragilities over the minute details of our existence, which are given the ‘patter’ in a uniquely Scottish way. This is all achieved so creatively it could have come from the boot of Henrik Larsson. 

This rehearsed reading was perfect as the stripped-back nature allowed the script and the talent of the actors to be the stars of the show. The three actors, Laurie Ventry, Carman Pieraccini and James McAnerney bring the characters to life, the superbly curated soundtrack takes you back to 1997 and Tam’s inane rantings will strike a chord with any Celtic fan who lived through the nineties. 

This deserves a bigger audience as it is a fantastic bit of comedy writing that captures family life and the national obsession in Scotland with a deft humorous human touch. All Celtic fans should get a chance to see this. 

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