A Play, A Pie and A Pint
Impoverished and exiled in Scotland, old King Maximilian of Octavia (a land of mud, turnips and toxic waste) slumps in a seedy armchair with a tartan blanket round his legs, telling unlikely tales of his imperial past to his son, Crown Prince Pauli. Max’s reduced circumstances are made worse by the food his son insists on bringing home. Goji berries, green lentils and brown rice do not delight a royal palate, descended we are told from Charlemagne. Despite fears for his safety, Max daydreams of returning to his homeland. He makes plans for an international airport that will never be built and practices speeches that will never be heard. He swears there are riches hidden in lead lined trunks, buried high up an Octavian mountain but for now, he has only a wealth of ancient stories to pass on.
The script by Sean Hardie invites us to wonder if Max, (Jimmy Chisholm) is of noble lineage or a deluded senior citizen being humoured by a compassionate Pauli (Daniel Cahill). This is very much Max’s play and the excellent Mr Chisholm, at times fragile then positively Puckish, uses phones, windows and the audience itself to deliver yarn after entertaining yarn. Watch out for the hand jiving!
Reviewer : David G Moffat