With Oor Wullie entertaining generations of Scottish families for over 80 years, this stage adaptation brings the classic story squarely into the 21st century. Completely accessible for all the family, the story gently tackles current sociological issues, with inclusion and bullying being the key underlying themes in this generally light-hearted stage performance.
The storyline sees the ‘Nation’s favourite’, Oor Wullie (Martin Quinn), lifted from the page into the modern world. Wullie is there on the pretence that he has lost his dear friend – his bucket. As the play develops, we learn that Wullie has in fact been brought here to provide friendship and fun to Wahid (Eklovey Kashyap).
While hiding from bullies in the school library, Wahid meets Dudley, one of Oor Wullie’s original creators. Dudley passes Wahid the comic which gives Wullie the chance to enter Wahid’s life. Through his search for his beloved bucket, Wullie and his wee gang get into many a pickle before realising that having a good time is only important when no-one is left out. While the narrative is slow to start, it is ultimately heart-warming; encouraging inclusion in a day of segregation and diversity, and highlighting to the audience that two worlds can work together!
There are moments when the plot feels to be stretched, but this does not detract from the fun on stage. The laughter roars during the police chase, which is possibly the only part of the show where you feel like you are seeing the traditional comic strip brought to life. The set is simple yet very effective, and the use of digital projection compliments the old school cartoon feel of the production. Original comic strip sections are used during the scene changes which helps to remind the audience that this story has been going for nearly a century!
The musical score is catchy and upbeat, and although not all the top notes are reached during solos, you can’t help but sing along during the reprisal come the finale. With an all-round feel-good factor, don’t hesitate to bring your kids or your grandparents. Everyone is sure to leave the theatre with a muckle big smile! After all, he’s ‘A’Body’s Wullie’!