Theatre review: Billy Bremner And Me, The Stand’s New Town Theatre

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Bremner, the midfield general of Leeds United and Scotland, is an iconic figure to many football fans of a certain age but particularly to Phil Differ.

Billy Bremner And Me, The Stand’s New Town Theatre (Venue 7) ***

Attending the same high school, Differ, a veteran scriptwriter for Rikki Fulton and Naked Video, aspired to be a professional footballer and can’t help but measure his achievements against his childhood hero.

Bremner infamously missed at a sitter against Brazil in the 1974 World Cup but Differ hits his targets much of the time in this personably funny one-man show. His ability to craft a gag is beyond question but it’s his deft, understated delivery that’s winning.

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Differ doesn’t eschew stagecraft, but he mocks his inexperience as a performer with a self-effacing, conversational manner that makes you lean in eager to hear more. Skilfully, he evokes both Scotland’s pint-sized midfield terrier and 1970s Scottish school life.

He may spend too long on blow-by-blow reminiscences of childhood football matches and he still lack a definitive ending but Differ’s decision to follow Bremner’s own advice: “Just be yourself, son” has proved to be a wise one.

• Until 13 August, 1:45pm