Skip to main content

McLuckie’s Line


Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
Three stars

Poor McLuckie. It looks like the compulsive gambler turned accidental jockey and even more accidental actor’s luck has all but run out in this new one-man monologue co-written by Martin Travers and Martin Docherty, and performed by Docherty for Broke Lad productions. Sitting in a funereally quiet hospital waiting room, McLuckie ponders his fate and how he got here as his past life flashes before his eyes in a series of bar-room yarns and routines worthy of anyone born to perform.

Growing up in working class Glasgow, McLuckie flits between the pub, the chip shop and the bookies with assorted n’er do well pals. Chance lands him not just betting on the gee-gees, but riding them as well, before falling at the first fence and finding himself at drama school.

This is where the fun really begins, as McLuckie finds himself playing Puck in a rave take on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream before being forced to endure the inevitable longeurs of unemployment. Docherty launches himself into all this with a gallus motor-mouthed charm, narrating his own rake’s progress with a sinewy intensity that never loses the show’s sense of fun.

Given the current debate regarding a lack of access into drama school for working class would-be actors, one might have expected some kind of frontline polemic against the apparent poshing-up of stage and screen. As it is, Travers and Docherty prefer to let McLuckie speak for himself, with all the everyday crises of an actor’s life intact. Docherty delivers the script with a relish that savours every one-liner, physicalising each punchline to stress the point. This makes for a loose-limbed fanfare for the common man that demystifies the business of show while suggesting matters of life and death are elsewhere. As for what happens next for McLuckie, all bets are off.

The Herald, April 27th 2018

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…