Skip to main content

Oor Wullie

Dundee Rep
Four stars

Icons don’t come much bigger in this country than Oor Wullie. The spiky-topped tearaway and his bucket-wielding antics in small-town Auchenshoogle have made generations of comic strip readers part of Wullie’s gang ever since he was first created by Dudley D. Watkins in 1936. That sense of inclusion pervades this bold stage adaptation by writer and lyricist Scott Gilmour and composer Claire McKenzie, the internationally successful musical theatre duo behind the Noisemaker company, who have joined forces with Dundee Rep and Selladoor Productions to allow Wullie to make the leap from page to stage.

Andrew Panton’s production enables this by way of a set-up where Eklovey Kashyap’s disaffected real world schoolboy Wahid, on the run from everyday racism in the classroom, is loaned an Oor Wullie annual by a mysterious librarian called Dudley. Through this portal comes Wullie himself, played by Martin Quinn as a gallus Peter Pan-like sprite in search of his stolen bucket. From this jumping off point, Wullie and Wahid embark on an awfully big adventure in a construction that draws from teen movie angst, with all the explorations of belonging, social cliques and the urge to stay forever young that goes with the genre.

With George Drennan regaling the audience with rhyming couplets as Dudley, Wullie and co become a kind of Scooby gang who land in an episode of Glee soundtracked by the sort of infectiously raucous Caledonian-tinged pop designed to rouse nations. There is also a scene-stealing gospel routine to treasure care of Ann Louise Ross as PC Murdoch and Irene Macdougall’s smitten teacher.

Gilmour’s patter-rich dialogue is shot through with a fruitily baroque swagger that creates a demotic all its own. As Panton’s cast of ten stride through the sliding doors and rubbish bins of Kenneth Macleod’s set, the play’s family friendly treatise on friendship, belonging and strength through unity is as good a festive message as any in a show that brings knowingness and depth to a classic cartoon hero.

The Herald, December 2nd 2019



Popular posts from this blog

Clybourne Park

Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy Four Stars
It’s a case of whoops, there goes the neighbourhood twice over in Rapture Theatre’s revival of Bruce Norris’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which opens in 1959 in the same Chicago suburb where Lorraine Hansberry’s drama, A Raisin in the Sun, which appeared that year, is set. Here, Robin Kingsland’s Russ and his wife Bev, played by Jackie Morrison, are preparing to move out of their now almost empty des-res following a family tragedy.
Unknown to them, the bargain basement price tag has enabled a black family to move in, with Jack Lord’s uptight Karl a self-appointed spokesperson for the entire ‘hood. Russ and Bev’s black maid Francine (Adelaide Obeng) and her husband Albert (Vinta Morgan), meanwhile, bear witness to a barrage of everyday racism. Fast forward half a century, and a white family are trying to buy the same house, albeit with a heap of proposed changes which the black couple representing the block’s now much more diverse community aren’t…

Big Gold Dreams – A Story of Scottish Independent Music 1977-1989

Disc 1
1. THE REZILLOS (My Baby Does) Good Sculptures (12/77)  2. THE EXILE Hooked On You (8/77)
3. DRIVE Jerkin’ (8/77)
4. VALVES Robot Love (9/77)
5. P.V.C. 2 Put You In The Picture (10/77)
6. JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS Dead Vandals (11/77)
7. BEE BEE CEE You Gotta Know Girl (11/77)
8. SUBS Gimme Your Heart (2/78)
9. SKIDS Reasons (No Bad NB 1, 4/78)
10. FINGERPRINTZ Dancing With Myself (1/79) 
11. THE ZIPS Take Me Down (4/79)
12. ANOTHER PRETTY FACE All The Boys Love Carrie (5/79) 
13. VISITORS Electric Heat (5/79)
14. JOLT See Saw (6/79)
15. SIMPLE MINDS Chelsea Girl (6/79)
16. SHAKE Culture Shock (7/79)
17. HEADBOYS The Shape Of Things To Come (7/79)
18. FIRE EXIT Time Wall (8/79)
19. FREEZE Paranoia (9/79)
20. FAKES Sylvia Clarke (9/79)
21. TPI She’s Too Clever For Me (10/79)
22. FUN 4 Singing In The Showers (11/79)
23. FLOWERS Confessions (12/79)
24. TV21 Playing With Fire (4/80)
25. ALEX FERGUSSON Stay With Me Tonight (1980)

1. THE REZILLOS I Can’t Stand My Baby (Sensible FAB 18/77) If it wasn’t for T…

Losing Touch With My Mind - Psychedelia in Britain 1986-1990

1. THE STONE ROSES  - Don’t Stop 2. SPACEMEN 3  - Losing Touch With My Mind (Demo) 3. THE MODERN ART  - Mind Train 4. 14 ICED BEARS  - Mother Sleep 5. RED CHAIR FADEAWAY - Myra 6. BIFF BANG POW!  - Five Minutes In The Life Of Greenwood Goulding 7. THE STAIRS - I Remember A Day 8. THE PRISONERS - In From The Cold 9. THE TELESCOPES  - Everso 10. THE SEERS  - Psych Out 11. MAGIC MUSHROOM BAND - You Can Be My L-S-D 12. THE HONEY SMUGGLERS  - Smokey Ice-Cream 13. THE MOONFLOWERS - We Dig Your Earth 14. THE SUGAR BATTLE  - Colliding Minds 15. GOL GAPPAS  - Albert Parker 16. PAUL ROLAND - In The Opium Den 17. THE THANES - Days Go Slowly By 18. THEE HYPNOTICS  - Justice In Freedom (12" Version)

1. THE STONE ROSES Don’t Stop ( SilvertoneORE1989)
The trip didn’t quite start here for what sounds like Waterfall played backwards on The Stone Roses’ era-defining eponymous debut album, but it sounds like it. Vocalist Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire met in 1980 at Altrincham Grammar School. With bassist …