Skip to main content

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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …