Skip to main content

Yer Granny

King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Four stars


Douglas
Maxwell’s scurrilous West Coast of Scotland version of Argentinian writer
Roberto Cossa’s piece of comic outrage, La Nona, could have been tailor-made for
popular fun palaces like the King’s. There’s something about the 1970s setting,
the Glam Rock pre-show music and the even louder wallpaper of designer Colin
Richmond’s garish living room set in Graham McLaren’s National Theatre of
Scotland production that reeks of an unreconstructed music hall turn writ large,
loud and at times very dirty indeed.

Yet there’s revolutionary intent too in
this tale of a small town chip shop owning family caught in the midst of the pre
Thatcher recession and up against a shiny new burger bar as the Queen’s 1977
Silver Jubilee looks set to tame the masses. Jonathan Watson’s patriarch Cammy
even riffs on an imaginary conversation with HRH in-between defending his couch
potato would-be genius brother Charlie to his soon to be emancipated wife Marie.
Daughter Marissa, meanwhile, turns her prim Aunt Angela into an accidental hit
woman as all the while the over-riding presence of the play’s eponymous Granny
devours everything in sight.

All of which looks and sounds as if Shameless or
Mrs Brown’s Boys had been hi-jacked by Dario Fo and given a right good seeing
to. Playing to a packed house, Gregor Fisher as Granny lumbers guilelessly and
grotesquely around the stage like a constipated rhino on heat in McLaren’s
audacious and explosive production. Barbara Rafferty is a blast as a pilled-up
and increasingly manic Aunt Angela, with Brian Pettifer’s crumbling but
perennially randy octogenarian Donnie Francisco even more so in a piece of
serious fun that looks at extreme reactions in the face of all encroaching
greed.

The Herald, May 28th 2015
ends



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Phoebe Waller-Bridge - Fleabag

Phoebe Waller-Bridge is a busy woman. The thirty-two year old actress who burst onto our TV screens as writer and star of Fleabag, the tragi-comic sort of sit-com about a supposedly independent woman on the verge is currently overseeing Killing Eve, her new TV drama which she's written for BBC America. As an actress, Waller-Bridge is also filming a big screen project which we can't talk about, but which has already been outed as being part of the ongoing Star Wars franchise.

These are both pretty good reasons why Waller-Bridge won't be appearing in the brief Edinburgh Festival Fringe revival of the original stage play of Fleabag, when it opens next week at the Underbelly, where it was first unleashed to the world in 2013. In her place, Maddie Rice will take on the role of the potty-mouthed anti-heroine after touring Vickie Jones' production for Waller-Bridge and Jones' DryWrite company in association with Soho Theatre. This doesn't mean Waller-Bridge has turned…

Futureproof 2017

Street Level Photoworks, Glasgow until February 4th 2018
Four stars

Now in its ninth year, Futureproof's showcase of recent graduate photographers from seven Scottish art schools and universities returns to its spiritual home at Street Level, with nineteen artists embracing photo essays, abstraction and constructed narratives. It is Karlyn Marshall's Willies, Beuys and Me that grabs you first. Tucked in a corner, this depiction of a woman impersonating iconic artist Joseph Beuys says much about gender stereotyping, and recalls Manfred Karge's play, Man to Man, in which a German woman took on her dead husband's identity.

The personal and the political converge throughout. Ben Soedera's Foreign Sands contrasts natural resources and the constructed world. Gareth and Gavin Bragdon's The Bragdon Brothers moves onto the carnivalesque streets of Edinburgh. Kieran Delaney's Moments also looks at the apparently ordinary. Matthew Buick goes further afield, as tourists…