top of page

Interview - Paul Beeson

David Cox

Aug 5, 2023

Having seen the amazing 'A War of Two Halves' at last year's Fringe we couldn't wait to see what Two Halves Productions were bringing to this year's Festival. We spoke to writer Paul Beeson about their new show about Hearts legend Bobby Walker 'Never Trouble Trouble (Till Trouble Troubles You)' and his hopes for Hearts this season.

"So, not long before the mayhem of the festival starts. How are you feeling?

Pretty relaxed, strangely! This year our show is a two-hander, so it's been a lot easier to rehearse and coordinate.

This year you are producing a new show " Never, Trouble , Trouble (Till Trouble Troubles You). What can we expect (without giving too much away ) as I can't wait to see it?

You can expect to see the colourful life of Hearts legend Bobby Walker told in our usual style! Myself and Nikki Auld are the only performers and we play a variety of characters. There will be songs and laughs and tears. 

How did you know about Bobby Walker? 

I knew about him through researching our previous shows A War of Two Halves and Sweet FA. He retired in 1913, but was still involved with Hearts when war was declared, so he knew that team fairly well. He also reffed a ladies match at Tynecastle in 1921, just before the ban on womens football. We knew he was a Hearts legend, but that was about it before we started researching him for this show.

 Why did you feel the need to create a new show this year?

Bobby Walker's story is a tremendous one, and many still don't fully know just how important he was to Hearts and Scotland. We have produced A War of Two Halves four times and Sweet FA twice. We love those shows, but we can't just keep on doing the same stuff over and over. We need to create new work to keep ourselves fresh and we want to bring new material to our loyal fanbase. We love having the opportunity to tell stories of the rich history of Edinburgh and Hearts to people, especially those who don't often go to the theatre.

So does this mean you are going to stop performing " A War Of Two Halves" and "Sweet FA"? 

It's more of a hiatus than a complete stoppage... primarily so we can produce new work. We have more new shows in the pipeline (but that's top secret for now!) The older shows will make a comeback in the future too, but we want to bring new work to people first.

How are preparations going?

Smoothly so far... we are based in the Hearts museum this year, so it's much easier than rehearsing around the different locations in the stadium that we did previously. We are contained and under cover, which is a welcome change!

Is "Never .. " the only show you are involved in this year?

Yes! I'm usually involved in at least 3 productions during the fringe, but not this year!

I recall that you appeared in a ridiculous number of shows last year. Are you hoping for a calmer festival this year?

I was doing a kids show in the morning, either 3 or 4 A War of Two Halves in the afternoon and producing Sweet FA in the evening. Every day! It will be nice to focus on one production and actually get to see some shows this year!

Will "Never.." involve a tour around the stadium or be staged in one place?  

We start in the supporters bar (of course!) then travel to the Hearts museum for the rest of the show.

Hearts finished 4th last year in the league. Are you optimistic about the season ahead?

I'm always optimistic before the season starts and never read too much into pre season performances. We started to play some good stuff at the end of last season. As I type, we are on the cusp of a couple of good signings (if they come off) so I'm quite excited. Ask me again after five games!

I see that Hearts have been drawn against Rosenborg (of Norway). Are you confident of a European run  this year?

Honestly, I'll be surprised if we get group stage football this year. If we manage to get through this qualifying round, we'll have a tough opponent in the play off round. It would be nice to have a decent wee away trip, so fingers crossed!

In 1997 I went to Kiev to see Barry Town play in the Champions League. Would you like to follow Hearts abroad? 

For sure! Work seems to get in the way for me, but I would love to get away and get on it for a couple of days!

Assuming you have any free time are there any shows or performers you fancy seeing this year?

There's a few. Saltire Sky are doing two shows this year, one of which is a new piece called MANikin. Mr. Thing are back for a limited run, that's always a good night out. I've got various pals involved in various shows, so will be able to get along to see a fair bit!

Finally, what are you most looking forward at this year's festival?

Edinburgh is buzzing in August. I'm looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere, and catching up with pals and seeing their fab work. And selfishly, getting back on stage doing a new show at Tynecastle! 

Thanks to Paul for his time, you can see "Never Trouble Trouble..." throught August at Tynecastle Park, tickets available here

bottom of page