Theatre review: The Gin Chronicles: A Scottish Adventure

Tale of Scotland's gin that's just the tonic
Tale of Scotland's gin that's just the tonic
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It’s always gin o’clock when those spiffing chaps from the Misfits of London barrel into town.

Star rating: ****

Venue: artSpace@St Marks (Venue 125)

I’d like to thank their sponsors – a boutique Edinburgh-crafted gin company plus purveyors of tasty tonic – for the complimentary beverage on the way in, helping their latest instalment of The Gin Chronicles to go with a zing. Pip pip! The Scottish Adventure is another pin-sharp pastiche of 1940s radio drama from the folks at Interrupt the Routine. The cast of four versatile voice actors are always ready with their RP accents or a fiendish disguise, while one very hard-working sound effects man, given to slapping his forehead with a leek should the action require it, shows off his foley ingenuity while encouraging melodramatic reaction from the audience for the benefit of all those listeners out there in wireless land.

This ripping yarn, populated by proper gents, honest geezers, game old birds, diverse Europeans and dashing strangers with names like Dedworth Winkfield, is set in 1947, as the post-war baby boom births-a-bouncing, bonny artistic celebration called the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe began. But there’s no time for that sort of frivolity here, not when Nazi panic is still rife and there are spies and agents in every rail compartment of the Flying Scotsman – although they would still like to take a moment to plug those sponsors.

Amateur detective John Jobling and his assistant Doris Golightly investigate the case of the missing juniper berries, journeying northwards to Edinburgh and beyond with some rum coves in tow, ready to negotiate whatever perils and plots await and defeat those Jerries with a nifty running Macbeth gag and an array of whistles, sonorous receptacles and vegetables brandished with abandon. I could tell you more, but then I’d have to kill you. Go, see, laugh, gasp, imbibe.

Until 25 August. Today 6:30pm.

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