Theatre review: Vinyl Idol, Glasgow

Vinyl Idol provides some perfect pastiche. Picture: Leslie Black

Vinyl Idol provides some perfect pastiche. Picture: Leslie Black

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CLARA may be a material girl, in a material world, but the material that interests her is all to do with dreams of the glamorous 1950’s, and of the great male stars of that vinyl era, from Frank Sinatra to Cliff Richard.

Vinyl Idol | Oran Mor, Glasgow | Rating ***

She works in a vintage shop called The Good Old Days, sports a flowery tight-waisted 50’s dress, and collects vinyl herself, with the help – and sometimes hindrance – of lustful colleague Jason.

Clara’s humdrum world of hopeless yearning and lonely evenings with the record player takes a strange turn, though, when some of her long-gone idols suddenly come alive and start invading her life, sliding out of her bedroom cupboard, and frying eggs in her kitchen.

The moral of this passionate, witty new musical by Debbie Hannan and Andy McGregor – which completes the Play, Pie And Pint summer season of mini-musicals – is that 21st-century girls should be careful what they wish for, when it comes to returning to a much more chauvinistic, patriarchal and sexually repressive past.

The long-drawn-out ending finally becomes a shade too shouty and hectic to carry much meaning, with a series of ferocious feminist arias from Kara Swinney’s lovely Clara, an invasion of zombie 1950’s celebrities from the audience, and open warfare on the streets of Glasgow.

But the show boasts an energetic and accomplished pair of supporting performances from Paul James Corrigan and Darren Brownlie, with Corrigan particularly impressive as a sleazy Sinatra; and it displays enough talent and passion, in its clever pastiche songs and pure feminist energy, to 
promise even better things to come.

• Final performance today.

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