Saturday, 20 September 2014

Still Game

SSE Hydro, Glasgow
Four stars
Given that it was the over 60s demographic that swung the victory for
the No camp in this week's Scottish independence referendum, it's
something of a surprise that Scotland's most curmudgeonly OAP double
act, Jack and Victor, didn't lay their cards on the table last night in
the first of their twenty-one night stadium-sized stage version of Ford
Kiernan and Greg Hemphill's scurilous TV sit-com.

In the end politics didn't matter  much in a show that started off
simply enough as a series of routines were played out across Navid's
open all hours corner shop and the legendary Clansman bar where Gavin
Mitchell's bar-man Boabby held court to Winston, Tam, Isa and Navid.
Once we're ushered into Jack and Victor's front room, however, things
take a turn for the meta, as Kiernan and Hemphill take full advantage
of the live arena for a series of self-referential gags that resemble
something Pirandello might have written if he'd concentrated on
popular pantomime produced on the scale of a WWE Smackdown show.

That this involves a loosely strung-out plot involving Jack and
Victor's adventures with an ipad, a home-made bionic leg and a
hallcinogenic Bollywood finale involving Isa's very special mushroom
soup and a massed take on the Slosh, and Michael Hines' production
becomes even more surreal. While one may long to see the show in a more
intimate Fringe environment beyond the big screens the action is
beames on to, Kiernan and Hemphill's writing is as sharp as ever and the
ensemble comedy playing aided by Mitchell, Paul Riley, Sanjeev Kohi, Jane McCarry
plus a couple of guest stars superb in a night that gives the audience
the best of all worlds.

The Herald, September 20th 2014


ends




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