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The Rise and Inevitable Fall of Lucas Petit

Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh
Four stars

The Lord moves in mysterious ways in Andy McGregor's new lo-fi musical fable, currently on an extensive tour by McGregor's own Sleeping Warrior Theatre Company in a co-production with Stirling's Macrobert Arts Centre and in association with the enterprising Showroom producing house. As introduced in the opening number performed by Ashley Smith and Darren Brownlie's unholy alliance between Lucifer and God, Lucas Petit is one of life's little guys, a man trapped in a soulless job and a loveless marriage, and whose sole pleasure is hanging out in the B&Q cafe on Saturday afternoons. Once temptation is thrust in his face, however, Lucas embarks on a comic book style adventure that takes him to Hell, but not necessarily back.

What initially resembles a 1960s style caper pastiche involving nightclub singer assassins, suitcases full of something shiny, and Nicola Sturgeon evolves over the eighty minutes of McGregor's own production into a witty, whip-smart and up to the minute satire on the roots of fanaticism. As Alasdair Hankinson's magnificently gormless Lucas becomes the worm that turns, his trajectory from would-be hero into messianic martyr is a sadly all too recognisable one.

As well as writing and directing the play, McGregor has written the fist-full of showtunes that illustrate Lucas' leap into the ideological void. This is played out on Alice Wilson's ingenious set that goes with it, in which everything is make-believe right up until the play's finest moments. With corrupted belief systems seemingly inspiring hate crimes on a daily basis right now, McGregor and co have created a little piece of theatrical dynamite.

The Herald, September 22nd 2016

ends

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