Sunday, 20 March 2011

Smalltown Review

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
Ayrshire is a funny place. This comedy triptych sired by Douglas
Maxwell, D.C. Jackson and Johnny McKnight for McKnight’s Random
Accomplice company takes the three writers home-towns as the starting
point for a riot of willfully outrageous nonsense where the audience
even get to vote for which ending they prefer. The conceit binding the
plays together is a grand wheeze concocted by the marketing bods at the
local toon council who spike the newly branded Rabbie Juice with a
mind-altering substance which inadvertently causes the whole of
Ayrshire to go fifty-seven varieties of gaga. With a mop-up operation
in full swing, only three towns are still flogging off this strangest
of brews; Girvan, Stewarton and Ardrossan.

Maxwell’s opening Girvan-set piece focuses on this the most, in a
seaside post-card come to life featuring misguided civic pride, the
spectre of a boxing kangaroo, much ado with ice-cream cones and a
tourist trade that is literally dead in the water. Jackson begins his
Stewarton-set segment in the bedroom of a teenage girl desperate to
lose her virginity, which she does as wonderfully played by Sally Reid
with gusto to the local dunder-heided stud. Yet what begins gloriously
puerile embarks on a strange metamorphosis where the fur really does
fly. Meanwhile, over in McKnight’s Ardrossan kitchen of a supermarket
cafĂ©, there’s a zombie in the freezer who knows more than she’s letting
on.

Apart from a very Maxwellian speech about the joys of small-town life,
this is no high-minded state-of-the-nation treatise on life outside the
central belt. Rather, McKnight’s slightly over-long production is a
rip-roaring excuse for an anarchically O.T.T. compendium of bawdily
madcap, genitally obsessed post-modern fun.

The Herald, February 18th 2011

ends

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