Review: 5 Plays for a 5er

Urban Fairytale Theatre Company
The Old Hairdressers, Glasgow 10 May 2016
4 Stars (4 / 5)

Urban Fairytale Theatre Company outshines with a quintet of commentaries from contemporary Scotland. Full of vigour, intensely engaging, and sprinkled with enough humour to carry us through the murkiest depths of human experience, depression and depravity which they reveal.

We drink in Glasgow. Sometimes we regret it later. Sometimes we feel ashamed and humiliated – we look blankly into the mirror wondering who we are and what we are doing with out lives. Most of us have looked at other people “steaming,” judging them harshly, only for it to occur to us that not long ago…

Drink, is the name of the first play, written and performed by Bobby Bulloch, who opens up the inner reflections of a compulsive drinker. It intensifies with ruminations on the childhood that is the making of the man, and generational alcoholism. Bobby avoids cliché while handling these topics, it both presents an extreme case of dysfunction while pointing straight at a more widespread condition which insidiously escapes attention for being more moderate. In other words, the average person may see a little of themselves reflected in Bobby.

The second piece is a rather surreal devised piece performed by William Coleman & Maryann McKelive which involves a transvestite with multiple personality disorder. It ultimately gives way to some bizarrely satisfying contemporary movement.

What would you do if you suddenly happened across a large sum of money? Would you stay or would you go? Jo and Chris, by Stephen Greenhorn, Rona Munro and Isobel Wright explores.

The evening culminates in two blinding pieces. The first of them, The Faith Monologue movingly and hilariously explores a personal history of the sectarian upbringing that one might receive in Glasgow, and the rebellion against it. The final piece, Cheers to the Children is a shocking expose of the realities of dealing with a narcissistic parent. In the wounding, the gas-lighting, the desperate attempt to make a connection across a chasm which goodwill cannot cross – there is a fear that too many children are experiencing what we see right now, and that too many of us have known these feelings of futility in some measure… Carole Anders transcends in her viciously vindictive role.