A virtual who’s who of Scottish comedy actors join together for this enjoyably daft romp. Gregor Fisher stars as the 100 year old granny who is eating her family out of their home and has already been the cause of their chip shop to have been closed down. Set in 1977 as the family await the Queen’s arrival for the jubilee a series of get rich quick schemes come into play.
National Theatre of Scotland is clearly in the mood for having a bit of fun with this dark comedy that is adapted from a popular Argentinean play, La Nona by Robert Cossa. Douglas Maxwell does well in adapting the script to fit a very Scottish sense of humour. In fact, looking at the credits of all the actors involved it’s no surprise to spot Chewin’ the Fat, Still Game, Naked Video and, of course, Rab C. Nesbitt are dominant in their body of work. This show very much plays to that same style of unashamedly brash, rude and cheeky style of humour which at times can be downright hilarious yet at other times a little desperate to please. The cast are clearly having a ball, most of all Fisher himself who plays the old dear with grotesque abandon. It’s definitely more of a physical role, as the script requires the actor to say little other than, “Wha’ ye got there? Go’in gee iz it,” as he wanders around the grotty ‘70s decor, munching on anything he gets her hands on. Meanwhile Jonathan Watson nails his role as the family’s patriarch with an outrageously funny monologue imagining his flirtation with the Queen and Barbara Rafferty’s elder Aunt opens the second act with the comedic highlight of the show as she reveals her new career as a drug baron.
Unfortunately, the darker side of the comedy throws the production slightly by the second half. The jokes become a bit more vulgar and things take a creepy turn that isn’t particularly amusing, whilst some subplots seem a little wedged into proceedings before the final chaotic ending. The cast make it all worthwhile though. They do occasionally ham it up with some panto style mugging, but this edgy little black comedy should very well appeal to anyone with a sense of humour, thanks to their zany performances.