But That Was Then
A Play, a Pie and a Pint
Oran Mor, Glasgow
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
A Scottish living room of leather chesterfields, flock wall paper and a crackled mirror, hosts a theatrical couple preparing to go out for the evening, in this play by Peter McDougall. An aging actress Marcia (Alison Peebles), wearing a crown of hair rollers and walking with a stick, sets the frank tone by comparing her own wrinkled face unfavourably to King Kong’s arse. She has a list of waspish complaints about the modern theatre from the lack of glamour, to tattooed producers. Her younger husband James (Billy McBain), an unpublished playwright who we feel has listened to her numerous dramatic whinges many times before, encourages her to accept things as they are, not as they were. If he can cope with his lack of success why can’t she? Eventually their satin dressing gowns are removed to reveal full evening dress, for tonight is the night of the BAFTA Ball.
There are shades of Burton and Taylor in the ding-dong dialogue with a touch of Sunset Boulevard for good measure. A sort of ‘Who’s Afraid of Norma Desmond?’
This is a word-packed play with lots of laughter-inducing quips to enjoy but occasionally as the metaphors bounced back and forth, the discourse did sound a bit recited rather than acted.
Reviewer : David G Moffat