A SCOTS football playwright is “dead excited” to be hosting a string of sell out theatre shows in Glasgow’s West End next week.

Bend it Like Bertie, written by die-hard Celtic fan Jim Orr, is set to play three dates at the 200-seater Webster’s Theatre on Great Western Road from September 2.

With previous credits in other Hoops-themed productions, including Bend it Like Brattbakk and Tony Roper’s Celts in Seville, Jim has become a firm favourite for penning this type of play.

Despite the title, his latest production isn’t about the story of Bertie Auld, but the former Scotland player does make an appearance throughout the show. 

The play will feature actor and playwright Dave Anderson, who co-wrote and starred in the original Celtic Story, and stand-up comedian Des McLean. 

Jim said: “When I told Des I was writing Bend it Like Bertie, he was really keen to be involved. 

“He does a great impersonation of Bertie and that’s why I decided that I would have Bertie as a character in the play, which wasn’t my original intention.

“We met with Bertie and his son last year to give them some background information. They were both thrilled at the prospect and will be there on the opening night.”

Glasgow Times:

Set in the mid-sixties, Bend it Like Bertie sees Bertie Auld and Jock Stein return to Celtic Park for the Hoops’ 1965 Scottish Cup victory which later became the launchpad for the Lisbon Lions.

Bertie had a big part to play in the cup run and scored two goals in the final – which was the reason for the play’s title.

Jim added: “They say you should never meet your heroes, but that doesn’t apply to Bertie. He’s such a force of nature, so, so positive. 

“His dementia diagnosis a couple of months ago was just devastating, but I’ve seen a few recent videos of him and thankfully he still looks as up for a laugh as he’s always been.”

The comedy is based around the story of Celtic fan Denise Mullen who is divorced, has two teenage children, a stressful job and cares for her elderly father who has early signs of Alzheimer’s.

Jim’s previous play, Bend it Like Brattbakk, made its debut in the same West End venue, and due to its success, moved on to a bigger stage at the Scottish Event Campus for a second run.

He said: “I’m humbled and very grateful that Bend it Like Bertie’s sold out so quickly.

“It was originally going to be staged in September last year, then May this year, so it’s just great that we can finally stage it.

“We’ve been inundated with requests to add dates as people were disappointed not to get tickets, so we’ve just added a Saturday matinee.

Jim added: “Ideally, we’d like to tour it and are also looking into the possibility of taking it to the North Atlantic Celtic Supporters Club’s convention in Las Vegas, as Bertie regularly attended the convention.

“It’s a madcap, bonkers comedy, so hopefully it will bring some cheer to those who come along, as goodness knows we could do with a night out and a laugh after what we’ve all been through.”

A small donation from each ticket purchased will be made to Football Memories Scotland.

Bend it Like Bertie will be at Webster’s Theatre from Thursday, September 2 until Saturday, September 4.

Tickets are available HERE