There is a great deal of criticism (and delight) at the ratio of comedy to theatre in Fringe programmes of late. While this isn’t the point of that debate, it almost implies that a performance can’t be both. If in doubt, see this. Returning to the Traverse after the successful 2012 production Born to Run, Glasgow theatre maker Gary McNair brings the world premiere of darkly funny Donald Robertson to the Traverse Festival this August.
In the style of a comedy club, with cabaret seating, Gary McNair tells the story of Donald, a wee man he meets on the Bellshill bus. Donald is the victim of school bullies and desperate to be funny. McNair’s performance is full of energy, blurring stand-up with storytelling and performance. He explores the human spirit in all its greatness and its darkness; his acute observations of how we use laughter to express a great deal of emotions. It’s a thoughtful, sharp and considered piece of theatre and a relentless barrel of laughs.