Jocky Wilson Said
Gilded Balloon at Rose Theatre
Quite possibly the best show title on the Fringe as it does what it says on the tin (although I quite liked Super Cali Fragile Lipstick too). In terms of Kirkcaldy residents this has been long awaited and highly anticipated without much clue as to how it would be performed.
As it turns out the scenario surrounds the World Champion darts player in the Nevada Desert 180 miles (geddit) from Las Vegas in 1979 when he missed his transport and had to hitch on the road to get to his match. The late Jocky is still a hero in his home town of Kirkcaldy and quite a few locals have been making the trip to this new venue to view the show. It is a fine venue too with two bars and very central just yards from the Book festival and parallel to Princes Street. This basement space is cool and unlike what our subject faced as he chats to a cactus about his life and beginnings on the way to stardom. The references to the Lister bar and the Beveridge Park gave titters of affinity with the Fife audience when I was in.
Grant O’Rourke not only gets his likeness but Wilson’s voice too and while the comedy element is there through his stories the tragic element is the message underlying and sadly true in every sense. His struggles in personal life and upbringing in a Children’s home while his mother raised his siblings are direct quotes from the autobiography Jocky which was penned by his long time supporter and commentator Sid Waddell. Written brilliantly for the stage by Jane Livingstone and Jonathan Cairney this was first seen in the Lemon Tree Aberdeen then in the Play, Pie & Pint shows in Oran Mor Glasgow. OnFife are keen to bring this show home but the company have made no announcement at this stage.