Saturday, 8 July 2017

The Lying Kind

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Four stars

Christmas comes early to Glasgow theatre this year, in the form of Andy Arnold's summer revival of Anthony Neilson's grotesque suburban farce. First seen at the Royal Court Theatre in London in 2002, the show opens on Christmas Eve, with hapless bobbies on the beat Gobbel and Blunt forced to do their duty by informing an elderly couple of the woefully unseasonal death of their daughter.

Except, as the pair dither on the doorstep before being allowed over the thresh-hold, things don't quite work out like that. What follows is a riotous set of slapstick routines that lob assorted contemporary grenades into a well-trodden comic path. The obligatory vicar is caught with his pants down amidst major misunderstandings galore, but the festive romp also takes in anti paedophile vigilantes, a pair of frisky pensioners and a Lazarus-like Chihuahua.

As the boys in blue who bite off more than they can chew, Michael Dylan and Martin McCormick are a deadpan delight as Gobbel and Blunt. Their physical tics seem to have lurched straight out of a silent movie in the face of the potty-mouthed mayhem around them. In this respect, they are like a pair of bumblingly inept Viz comic coppers come to life through an increasingly ridiculous set of sit-com style subversions. There is game support too from a rollickingly good supporting cast led by Anne Lacey and Peter Kelly as the seemingly bereaved parents. Neilson's yarn may not be much more than naughty fun, but as scurrilous a piece of nonsense as it is, it retains a self-effacing moral high-ground which suggests some things are better left unsaid.


The Herald, July 10th 2017

ends

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