The blue and the green

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IN THE early part of last year, the Citizens Theatre staged a new play which took the bigotry in Glasgow as its central theme.

So popular was the production, it is back for a second run at the Gorbals venue.

Divided City is a musical adapted from the award-winning novel by Theresa Breslin and has a cast of more than 50 young folk from schools around the city.

Set against the backdrop of the Orange marching season, it tells the story of Graham and Joe who are drawn into a secret pact to help a young asylum seeker and his Glaswegian girlfriend n all they really want to do is play football for Glasgow City.

There was an overwhelmingly positive response from audiences when it was first shown in May last year, which included almost 1,000 schoolchildren and resulted an unprecedented demand for tickets.

Glasgow city council and the Citizens Theatre collaborated collaborated on this new project as part of Creative Scotland’s Youth Music initiative programme and features an original score composed by Claire McKenzie.

The novel it’s based on explores religious tension in Glasgow through the tale of Graham and Joe – one a Rangers supporter, the other Celtic – who struggle to find their own answers in a divided city.

Director Guy Holland said of the play: “Religious intolerance and sectarianism are issues that continue to affect young people in Glasgow today and we believe that drama provides a unique way of exploring these conflicts.

“We’re incredibly proud of this production and are delighted to see it re-staged with our partners at Glasgow city council so that more audiences and young people can hear its powerful message”.

Speaking for the city council, Bailie Jean McFadden, executive member for education, said: “This is a wonderful production and an innovative use of song and dance to get an important message across to young people.

“For the last decade excellent anti-sectarian work has been developed and delivered in Glasgow schools and across our communities.

“This includes the use of Divided City as a resource in many of our schools and I know that many youngsters will now be delighted to see this unique show”.