Oran Mor, Glasgow
February 28th-Mar 5th, 2019
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
“Spuds” is the third show in Oran Mor’s 15th anniversary year, and one that had made a previous appearance at the venue in 2017. The charmingly simple, almost sketch like, set – red seat, window, desk – established the tone for what was to follow; a hilarious take on drug trafficking in a mini musical. The cast comprised Darren Brownlie, Richard Conlon, Dawn Sievewright with Gavin Whitworth accompanying the show, written and directed by Andy McGregor, on the piano.
The “hero” of the piece is one David MacGonigle, in a funk after the death of his wife, with his life collapsing about him. McGonigle accidentally discovers, in a mouldy chip, a new designer drug, Spuds. With theatrical extravagance, the story plays out, opera-like, in music and song. In one farce-like scene McGonigle finds solace in a bottle of Irn Bru which is held up like a revered trophy.
The Glaswegian characters – neds, drug dealers, hard bitten gangsters – sang in their own thick accents while outrageously and hilariously debating the predicaments encountered by the accidental, and very successful, drug lord. The facts were laid bare – the world he was entering was one of vast conceit. But nothing could stop him as he could only think about making a lot of money. The cost of which was personal to him in the end.
This packed hour was a classically brilliant, vibrantly modern comedic take on the miseries of one man as he is taken high and low, too pumped to recognise the journey he was on. The play was filled to the brim with theatricality that had at one moment an entourage of twenty or more people queuing for those fries and at the finale singing in unison of a world that lacked safety and a future where no-one was safe. A piece of well worked theatre, expertly delivered.