A Play, a Pie and a Pint
Oran Mor, Glasgow
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
This week Oran Mor hosts a service of Remembrance, in loving memory of the dearly departed Sandy Alison Munro (1963-2018). Sandy left explicit instructions as to how the occasion should pass-off; this may explain why the traditional Scottish purvey of flaccid, lukewarm sausage rolls was replaced by Scotch pies. There was a full house of the bereaved which would have surely have pleased the deceased. Sandy’s big brother, the Reverend Andrew Munro, tall, dark, slim, like Guinness in a test tube, emceed the event, leading those gathered, through a list of his wee brother’s dubious achievements, while photographic slides of Sandy in happier times (obvs) appeared on a screen above the coffin.
Rob Drummond’s play is a dark comedy about the life and hard times of Sandy Munroe, a man who found joy difficult to come by in life so is determined to find some in death. He has left detailed plans that involve his brother Andrew (Benny Young) singing a pastiche of Candle in the Wind as part of the Eulogy. Try as the good Reverend may to put a gloss on Sandy’s life, the truth will out (including an obsession with a certain red headed, BBC Scotland, news presenter). Former wife Anne (Joyce Falconer) is vilified as a rank bad-yin for legging it to Cyprus with a sailor but there are two sides to every story and she is adamant hers will be heard. Callum Cuthbertson provides Sandy’s video message from beyond the grave.
There are songs, plenty of belly-laugh moments and more than a few buried truths to keep the audience engaged.
Young’s face is wonderfully immobile and gloomy while delivering hilarious stories about the past but his long, energetic arms and legs eat up the stage, taking him out of I.M. Jolly territory. Falconer gives us a more solid, determined character. A formidable woman, a rock to build on, or crash against, the choice is yours. There are songs, plenty of belly-laugh moments and more than a few buried truths to keep the audience engaged. The pace did seem to slow at the end, where perhaps a bit of judicious dialogue trimming would not have gone amiss. That said, dead good.
David G Moffat