After The Cuts
Play, Pie, Pint
Oran Mor, Glasgow
Eloquently Weegie couple James Baxter and love of his life wife Aggie Baxter enchant us on an epic foray through post NHS medical care in this gem that is set in the 2040’s. This is a time where cotton wool costs £14 a packet and is compared to, ‘ a wee bit preserved from Maggie Thatcher’s pubic hair.’
Aggie (Maureen Carr) is terminally ill but she’s not suffering this without the irony splattered patter that has been honed to side-splitting accuracy from her lifetime of living with husband Jim (George Docherty), the fixer – the fixer of hoovers, ‘That only took thirty minutes.’ Aggie complains that it has been more like thirty years since she saw that hoover and Jim with lightning speed retorts, ‘Aye, but it took thirty uninterrupted minutes.’ Not wishing to spoil the priceless banter that occurs between this couple who have found themselves let down hugely by their Health, hope and happiness medical insurance package that doesn’t cover cancer, I cannot recommend enough an appointment with, ‘ Heart of gold, mouth of filth, perfect Govan lady’ and Jim, her wannabe surgeon husband.
This is the funniest play I have seen in this Autumn’s excellent offerings at Oran Mor where we are always entertained and challenged in some form or another. How can you not engage with Aggie when her harsh humour is contested by Jim, ‘Maybe you could try shouting at the cancer till it fucks off.’ Writer Gary McNair takes on and vents the anger we all feel at the socio-political scandal that is happening to our healthcare, already involved in privatising cancer and end of life care in Staffordshire to bidding US companies such as Optum (currently facing hospice-packing allegations). McNair does this with humour which packs the biggest punch. How this play is funny given the very real terror of what we are facing is entirely due to McNair’s colloquies which make you laugh, think and want to be pro-active.
Not complacent – seeing this will make you want to help the future Aggies who lament about our era, ‘ They sold it off and we let them. We didn’t need to make it so easy for them.’ Don’t let this third offering by Gary McNair for pass you by. FIVE STARS
Reviewer: Clare Crines