Comedy review: Robin Cairns: The Weegies Have Stolen The One O’Clock Gun!

Edinburgh's One O'Clock gun. Picture: TSPL
Edinburgh's One O'Clock gun. Picture: TSPL
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This latest outing for poet and comedian Robin Cairns’ prissy Edinburgh resident Morningside Malcolm, part of the Glagow Comedy Festival, is a rascally and undemanding bit of fun with Central Belt stereotypes.

Robin Cairns: The Weegies Have Stolen The One O’Clock Gun!

The Vale, Glasgow

* * *

Playing all the parts himself, from scary Glasgow gangster Big Urquie (catchphrase: “I know where you live”) and his son, the feckless, reedy-voiced ned Brian, right through to the oblivious English soldier Major Rupert, Cairns is good value, imbuing his characters with broad recognisability.

With Big Urquie and Malcolm thrust together by the unholy union of Brian and Malcolm’s daughter Jennifer, and by the arrival of a grandson, this is essentially a farce that plays on the tensions between the upper-middle-class Morningsiders and the violent gangster Weegies. Persecuted and put-upon by his overbearing in-laws, there are shades of Victor Meldrew in Malcolm’s snobbery and exasperation, even if his 
knee-jerk self-righteousness lacks the moral fibre of David Renwick’s creation.

An initial framing device of a relatively sane narrator imparting the events is more or less dispensed with as the show develops, with the baby’s christening becoming entangled with Big Urquie’s ice cream van turf war and a plot to “borrow” the One O’Clock Gun from the capital. The Seventies sitcom elements of trampled rhubarb patches and Malcolm finding himself trapped with a lusty lady are given an edge of prostitution, hard drugs and murder, but it’s still just 
light-hearted, generally amusing and throwaway nonsense.

Seen on 13.03.14