Filed under: Arts, humour, politics, Scotland, family, life, stories | Tags: religion, god, belief, theatre, Edinburgh, aetheism, national theatre of Scotland, Scottish Theatre, traverse theatre, paul higgins, susan vidler, gary lewis, alcoholism, scottishness, gregory burke
Here’s a one.
I have to declare two interests from the outset.
I am a Catholic.
My cousin (Susan Vidler) is in this play.
So I’m biased.
Paul Higgins, may be the most remarkable new stage-writing talent since Gregory Burke. It really is written brilliantly, flowing along at 100 miles an hour packed with hilarious one liners, and I believe it’s autobiographical. (Actually it’s very unfair of me to heap this comparative praise on Paul Higgins given my lack of comparative insight; but if he isn’t the best then Scottish Theatre is absolutely booming.)
I urge you to see this play before it is too late. (It was pretty much sold out on a dreich Tuesday in late November.)
It’s a fantastic smorgasbord of Scottishness. As the nation of doom we like to dwell on the dark side and this does it magnificently. I honestly have never encountered a script, in film or on stage, that leaps like Bambi on steroids, between bleak nihilism and outrageous humour, line by line, quite as well as this.
It is remarkable.
The main theme centres on belief 9or lack of it). I suppose the key character in the five person cast is the youngest son who has opted out of the seminary (or is that safe haven?) that he has studied at for seven years because he has become atheistic. Is there a God? Is there a Catholic God (OMG)? Is there a point? Why should I coexist with you? Have I a future?
But, at the gleaming, glowing, pulsating, dangerous centre of it all is the horrific patriarch, Gary Lewis. What a performance. The drunk, child-beating, wife-hating (but actually not particularly misogynistic) husband engulfs the stage with his presence.
It is massive.
The audience howled with tears and laughter and, for me, it was another triumphant National Theatre of Scotland performance. I’ve seen three this year in three different theatres.
They all demonstrated our brilliance.