Theatre review: Porridge In The Morning, Glasgow

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Adapted from the diary 16-year-old Colin A Fraser kept throughout 1911, by his nephew, Alister Fraser, this time capsule of Glasgow working-class life is brought to life by spirited performances from a Scottish Youth Theatre cast.

Porridge In The Morning - Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, Glasgow

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A clerk to an oil and paint merchant, Colin (played with hormonal vim by Scott Miller), is a bright, imaginative lad, a playwright manqué with a sweet tooth and an eye for the ladies, who nevertheless loses all power of speech in their company. This is especially evident during his encounters with a suffragette, who weaves him round her little finger.

The struggle for gender equality is just one of several broader political events that the production elegantly weaves through the day-to-day lives of Colin and his siblings, with the Red Clydeside industrial action looming large.

The veracity of the narrative is convincing, with stretches of mundanity punctuated by sudden bursts of excitement – a trip to the football, the International Exhibition in Kelvingrove Park, even the Panopticon itself to catch the variety legends of the day.

In keeping with Colin’s personality and the music hall theme, the entries are brought to life in a quickfire, occasionally knockabout style. This gets slightly dizzying at times, but generally director John Binnie’s pacing is spot on. Although the family suffers tragedy and comes close to splitting up, the abiding sense is of a life celebrated.