Theatre review: Rumple Still-Skint, Glasgow

Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Contributed

Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Contributed

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All the ingredients for fine political jokery are present and correct, in the latest Oran Mor summer panto for grown-ups, written by David Anderson - who also plays the Dame - and young star writer Gary McNair.

Rumple Still-Skint | Oran Mor, Glasgow | Rating ***

There’s a poverty-stricken populace, a miller who’s tempted to sell his daughter in marriage to the local prince, and a false promise that she knows how to spin straw into gold, converted into reality for her by an evil hobgoblin whose power can only be broken by a feat of knowledge.

Yet despite a witty theme-song about summer in Glasgow, and the city’s endearing habit of stripping its “taps aff” at the first glimpse of sun - and some popular one-liners, with Kirstin McLean’s hobgoblin winning a round of applause for an indignant “How dare you! I’m a hobgoblin, not a Tory!” - the Play, Pie And Pint panto team is still struggling to recapture the old David MacLennan magic that would link not just the detail of the script, but the whole structure of the plot, to a story about current politics, creating endless opportunities for hilarity with a purpose.

David Anderson is an adorable miller’s wife, admirably sceptical about her ghastly Trump-loving husband. George Drennan makes a surprisingly touching six-foot-two princess; and Juliet Cadzow does her best with the vacuous character of the pompous young Prince, although the script misses a huge trick in not adding “back-stabbing” to his list of things he learned at public school. Yet the smack and sting of true satire is still absent without leave, from Oran Mor; just at the moment, many might say, when we need it most.

Until 23 July

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