Skip to main content

Whisky Galore

Dundee Rep
4 stars
Paul Godfrey’s stage adaptation of Compton Mackenzie’s famously filmed 
novel is as clever as Michael Frayn’s backstage farce, Noises Off.  
Framed as a 1950s BBC radio play, such a conceit not only allows for 
subtle hints of backstage shenanigans among its cast of three who 
appear alongside a tireless sound effects man. Sharing the original 
story’s multiple roles among the trio also makes for canny economic 
sense.

Godfrey’s version was last seen at the old Mull Little Theatre. Irene 
MacDougall’s new production, which tours community centres in the area 
this week, does much to capture the show’s essence, both in its 
stylistic dexterity and its deceptively subversive intent.

For those who don’t know it, Mackenzie’s World War Two-set yarn is set 
on two neighbouring islands whose whisky rationing is overcome via a 
fortuitous shipwreck’s offloaded cargo. As played here, an entire 
community is personified with a swiftly changed facial expression or 
accent. John Buick is leading man and narrator Sir Hoppy Caruthers, 
while Martin McBride’s dashing Dick Burns plays Hoppy’s assorted foils.

As regal diva Fanny Heywood-Haddock, Emily Winter plays all the women 
of the island, from battle-axes to belles, as well as several 
over-excited canines for good measure. There is the merest hint too of 
possible extra-curricular activities between the two fictional 
thespians that goes beyond professionalism. Unlike Frayn’s play, where 
one might expect things to fall apart, here they don’t.

Top marks must go to Kevin Lennon, who, as studio manager Ivor Ash, 
conjures up an entire audio world the old-fashioned way in a show that 
lays bare the full liberating power of what’s found in the bottom of a 
glass.

The Herald, October 30th 2012

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…