Celts in Seville: Meet the Glasgow actress at the centre of marriage v match clash

Every Celtic fan remembers where they were and what they were doing when Martin O'Neill's men played in the UEFA Cup Final in Seville in 2003.

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Michele is pictured top right
Michele is pictured top right

For every supporter has their own story on how they experienced the moment which is perhaps why it has been no surprise that Tony Roper's Celts in Seville has been a huge hit during its second run at the Pavillion Theatre in Glasgow.

Despite not having the same enthusiasm for the beautiful game, Glasgow actress Michele Gallagher admits it's hard not to get caught up in the emotion of it all.

The 35-year-old, from Queen's Park, stars in the Celts in Seville which follows the McMahon family as they support their Hoops heroes from the beginning of the 2002/2003 season all the way to the UEFA Cup Final.

Michele's character Anne-Marie is a bride-to-be who just happens to have organised her wedding on the same day as the final - leaving her fiancé with the decision of whether to get married or follow his team to Seville.

It is this story and the portrayal of the team's journey that has won audiences over whether they love football or not.

Michele said: "Every single character in the play I can relate to, I could easily go through the characters and think of someone I know. I am not a football fan but it is amazing to see people's reactions. They are moved by the story and they have so much passion for their team.

"It was a huge achievement for the team, no one expected it to happen - and this play celebrates that.

"People come to relieve it, while others were too young and want to remember it, and a lot of the audience have come back to watch it a second time around."

It's a good thing Michele has gained years of acting experience on both stage and screen - she has appeared in Taggart and Still Game - as the passion from the audience has on occasion taken over the show.

Michele explained that the play has a big screen to show the audience the clips from the games leading up to and including the UEFA Cup Final.

But the desired effect of helping them reminisce hasn't been achieved, for the audience have turned the Pavillion into a stadium.

Michele said: "Saturday was a good day following the St Mirren win. Members of the audiences started singing a song about Martin O'Neill after we showed them a clip.

"I was due to say my next line but I had to sit in silence and let them finish."

Over-enthusiastic audiences has not been the only benefit for Michele as her role means she gets to work with the writer and director of the play Tony Roper.

She said: "I have loved working with him. He is a hands on kind of director. He will just get up and show you what he means. He is so passionate about his work and you learn so much from him.

"I could listen to him all day, he just cares so much about the production, is spot on with his comedy and he really knows his audience."

The play will run at the Pavillion Theatre until Saturday, April 12.

For more information on tickets, visit www.pavilliontheatre.co.uk

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