By Bill Paterson. A Play, a Pie and a Pint review.
THEY discovered Elvis, they discovered sex, they discovered material wealth. Now the baby boomers are discovering death. The results can be maudlin and introspective – but not in the case of Astonishing Archie. Not only is Bill Paterson's three-hander perfectly pitched at a sell-out audience, but it is witty, self-aware and quietly observant about the way death makes us reflect on life.
A Play, a Pie and a Pint review
WHAT makes you a revolutionary, says Egyptian actor Sara Shaarawi, is "saying what you really think". There's a powerful sense in this irreverent compendium of voices from the countries of the Arab spring that to do that, however flippant or trivial your thoughts, is a luxury denied in a world governed by extremists and dictators.
By Leo Butler. A Play, a Pie and a Pint/Paines Plough review.
IF ever there was a character ready to leap into a sitcom it is Leo Butler's Nina. Played by Denise Hoey, she is the epitome of tactlessness, the old university friend who has learned nothing from her global travels except, perhaps, how to insult you in ever more charming ways. She is an expert in the inappropriate comment, the kind of woman who is not content merely to say her friend's eight-month-old baby is handsome without also calling him a "funny little fanny magnet".
By David Harrower. A Play, a Pie and a Pint review.
SAY what you like about David Harrower, but the author of Knives in Hens is not known for big laughs. Yet, here in the 199th lunchtime show produced by A Play, a Pie and a Pint (this time with Paines Plough), he uses his talent for high-precision dialogue to very funny effect. He also continues to explore the way the past haunts the present, as he did in Blackbird, and introduces a theme that recalls the political tension at the heart of Elvis Costello's Shipbuilding.
ON ELECTION day, Edinburgh's Traverse Theatre staged Gordon Brown: A Life in Theatre, a hastily written, quickly rehearsed and very entertaining play about the outgoing prime minister. Running all the way through, like a motif in a tragic drama, was the phrase: "They should never have put me with that woman." Personally, I'm not convinced Brown's encounter with Mrs Duffy from Rochdale – aka "that woman" – was as damaging to his electoral performance as the press made out. I happen to like the idea of a politician prepared to condemn prejudice where he finds it, even if he might have missed the mark on this occasion. And, whatever the rights and wrongs, it is clear the question of bigotry is not going to disappear anytime soon.
By Ian Pattison. A Play, a Pie and a Pint review.
CHARLES Baudelaire was a 19th-century wild child who believed art should be free of morality. His romantic spirit is in ironic counterpoint to that of Nolan in this lunchtime three-hander by Rab C Nesbitt's Ian Pattison. Played by Ryan Fletcher, this young man is a dealer on the Cardonald crack circuit and his rebellious rejection of conventional ideas such as conscience and consideration for others is entirely self-serving. There is no poetry in his drug-pushing lifestyle.
I HAVE been at the theatre when an audience member collapsed, but never have I seen two keel over at once. Such was the unfortunate, not to say unlikely, scene at Oran Mor for this lunchtime performance, bringing Zinnie Harris's two-hander to a premature end. Having consulted the script, I realise we missed only the final few lines of a domestic drama that, like many plays in these apocalyptic times, is about the impossibility of a future.
IT is the democrat's dilemma: what if, having given someone a voice, you don't like what they have to say? That is the situation faced by Kate in Gregory Burke's apocalyptic comedy, a lunchtime collaboration between the Traverse theatre and the Play, a Pie and a Pint series. Kate is an undercover activist who has infiltrated a futuristic "contentment facility" in which old people are stored in life-support units before being fattened for human consumption. While freeing the occupant of row NN, pod 777, Kate is alarmed to discover he was responsible for the death of the environment.
I HAD assumed Simon Stephens would have reworked his short two-hander since the summer when the Traverse gave it a breakfast reading on the Edinburgh fringe. But here it is in a fuller but still bare-bones production for A Play, a Pie and a Pint, the lunchtime theatre season, with the same oddball charm and the same feeling that its deeper meaning is just out of grasp.
By Jon Atli Jonasson. A Play, a Pie and a Pint review.
A LIFE at sea is tough. Every fisherman contends with long days away from home, brutal working conditions and primitive domestic arrangements. It's the same in all northerly waters: the unforgiving sea does not care what country you have sailed from. That is why Jon Atli Jonasson's short, vivid and intense monologue will carry as much resonance for audiences in Halkirk, Skerray and Durness as it does for those in the playwright's native Iceland.
AS the younger character in David Harrower's drama suggests, Lucky Box is "some kind of fucked-up fairy story". It takes place one afternoon on a forest path where a middle-aged man in a suit is sitting on a plastic container, making it hard for 17-year-old Jack to get by. Played by Stuart Bowman, always an intimidating actor, the man is just the kind of big bad wolf your mother warned you about: tricky and volatile.
By David Greig. A Play, a Pie and a Pint review.
DAVID Greig has long been fascinated by the contrast between public and private. His characters are always ﬁnding themselves in airports, stations and hotel lobbies, places where no one feels at home. This is how it is for conference delegates Lucy and Dan as they stumble into a chilly hotel room in a former communist state for a night of illicit sex.
IT'S common for writers of science fiction to travel to the future to tell us about the here and now. By contrast, playwright Iain Heggie has gone in the opposite direction, taking us to the Glasgow of 1780 to create a light-hearted play for today.The Tobacco Merchant's Lawyer is a monologue about a credulous lawyer, Enoch Dalmellington, who suffers his own personal credit crunch after investing in an ill-fated trade mission to Virginia.
By Ian Pattison. A Play, a Pie and a Pint review.
A PLAY, a Pie and a Pint is the most unlikely success story of Scottish theatre. Run by David MacLennan, a veteran of the 7:84 and Wildcat theatre companies, it has been attracting sizeable lunchtime audiences for the past four years. Indeed, so many people turned up to claim their pie and pint before curtain-up on Monday that the performance was forced to start late.
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