Fringe: Jocky Wilson Said ****

Jocky Wilson Said, Rose Street Theatre
Jocky Wilson Said, Rose Street Theatre

Jocky Wilson Said ****
Gilded Balloon, Rose Street Theatre

Jocky Wilson would almost certainly never have gone to see a stage play about himself.

The wee man from Kirkcaldy, who could throw an arrow better than anyone, stepped out of the public limelight so long ago, it came as a shock to many to learn he was just 62 when he died in 2012.

Wilson quit darts in 1995 with two world titles in his hipper, and simply went home and closed to door, declining all requests for interviews with a polite ‘‘naw, no thanks, son’’ every time the world championships took centre stage.

He sought no pity for how his life had turned out, and just wanted to be left in peace.

And yet, had he seen his show, he’d probably have been chuffed.

Jocky Wilson Said is a lovely homage to one of this country’s great sporting legends, and tells his story with honesty and also compassion.

Grant O’Rourke‘s portrayal of the stocky wee guy on the oche is excellent.

He brings the spirit of Jocky to life as he recalls his story in this monologue which was inspired by one of those many, great stories about Wilson – the night he ended up skint in the Nevada desert having hustled and lost his money, and had to try to get to Vegas.

It’s as far removed as you could imagine from his days playing darts in the Lister Bar, and an indication how far fame and success enabled him to travel.

But he never was comfortable in the limelight, and this story is packed with references and place names Fifers will instantly recognise and appreciate. And judgding by the laughter, there were more than a few in the crowd ...

In that respect, it brings Jocky’s story full circle, and brings him back to the Lang Toun.

Superbly written by Jane Livingstone and Jonathan Cairney, it was a huge success as part of the ‘Play, Pie and Pint’ series at Glasgow’s Oran Mor, and is now enjoying good success on the Fringe.

The next step has to be to bring it to Kirkcaldy – the only place Wilson ever felt at home, even if the town has yet to formally recognise his remarkable achievements.

>> Jocky Wilson said,

Gilded Balloon Rose Street Theatre (Venue 76)

Aug 9-24, 3.45pm