Tron Theatre, Glasgow
It’s swings, roundabouts and cheap thrills all the way in
writer/performer Derek McLuckie’s latest collaboration with director
Pauline Goldsmith, a rough and ready glam/punk era rites of passage for
this year’s Glasgay! festival. McLuckie’s fifty-minute solo turn
rewinds to a back-street boyhood where the only fun in town comes in a
plastic bag full of sticky stuff. One minute Derek is a church-going
angel in search of kicks beyond his dyed David Bowie cut, the next he’s
finding salvation in visions of Pegasus, the doors of perception laid
wide open to more flesh and blood pursuits.
As he fancifully immortalises his own self-created mythology,
McLuckie’s inner aesthete is torn between the Siouxsie Sioux pictures
on his wall and the Judy Garland records he discovers behind the sofa
of the Paisley high-rise that fails to hem in his wilder urges.
There are a million stories like this, but McLuckie’s tale is
infinitely less sentimental than a Billy Elliot style romance, which it
could so easily have become. The fact that McLuckie is up there on his
own speaks volumes about a full-blooded poetic monologue which recalls
the sort of spiky confessionals patented by poet Claire Dowie, and in
truth Glue Boy Blues belongs more in the speak-easy environs of the
spoken-word scene than more formal spaces.
This isn’t a slight on the piece’s inherent theatricality. The language
is vivid, and the peacock-hued projections of McLuckie’s sexually
charged visions resemble the blood and lipstick sketch-books of
post-punk artist Linder Sterling. Even together, such gifts of sound
and vision would still benefit from more pace, less speed in a coming
of age that remains raw to the touch.
The Herald, November 11th 2011