When the Penny Drops

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Oran Mor, Glasgow
Feb 17 – 22, 2020

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Performance: four-stars.png S.O.D.:four-stars.png


This week’s offering from a Play, and Pie and a Pint took place in a school room, where English teacher, Penny (Jo Freer) was at the heart of Catriona Duncan’s comedy, “When the Penny Drops”. As Penny pondered the highs and lows of her career, she was joined onstage by Michele Gallagher and Calum Moore playing multiple roles – involving multiple costume changes – with increasing manic energy that had the audience in fits of laughter.

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We found ourselves entwined in Penny’s thoughts and feelings, despair and joy, as she shared with us a lifetime of teaching children and dealing with fellow staff and parents, all of whom were capable of engendering frustration to the point of pulling hair. All ably illustrated by the cast of characters who engaged with her in a series of fast moving mini plots which at times spilled out into the aisles. Penny’s formula for coping, she told us, was complete disengagement, the ultimate safety net

The play spun its web in a marvellous mix of action and comedy, drawing you ever further towards the ultimate turning point where Penny was faced with the profound reality of the crossroads she was facing. The moment of clarity when “the penny drops” came like a slap in the face as Penny’s theory disintegrated. But really, she – and we – always knew it was going to and the penny dropping turned out not to be the catastrophe we may have expected. In our hearts we always knew she cared!

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Written by a real teacher who knew what she’s talking about and with wonderful direction by Angie Darcy, this play took us on a rapid trip through human endeavour. Teachers will recognise themselves here as will all of us who have striven for clarity and honour in our lives. An impressive hour, not to be missed!

Daniel Donnelly

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Posted on February 19, 2020, in Scotland. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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