THEY haven't made plays like Des Dillon's Blue Hen since the early 1980s. Its black humour recalls that era's working-class playwrights, such as Bleasdale, Godber and Russell. Its theme about male loss of dignity in a post-industrial world echoes the gizza-job camaraderie of The Boys from the Blackstuff. And its meat-and-two-veg presentation harks back to a time when you could throw on a play without worrying about fancy stagecraft.
EVER since Hector McMillan's The Sash in 1974, there has been a popular market in Scotland for broad comedies on a sectarian theme. And one look at the audience crowding into the Citizens tells you Des Dillon's Singin' I'm No a Billy He's a Tim is reaching the parts that other theatre can't reach. Produced by the unfunded NLP company, with an uninspiring, low-budget set, it has enjoyed a second sell-out tour of Scotland, with dates lined up in Northern Ireland later in the year. All this while passing under the theatre establishment radar.
13 May 2009 Northings
WHAT could be worse for a Celtic fan than being locked up in a police cell on the day of an Old Firm match? For Tim, in Des Dillon's raucous comedy, there is one thing worse. Not only is he behind bars with the big game approaching and no chance of his wife finding the money to pay his fine, but also he has been banged up in the same cell as Billy, a fervent Rangers supporter.
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