Theatre review: Faster, Louder

Showcased in the theatre section of the Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Robert Perry
Showcased in the theatre section of the Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Robert Perry
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AT THE heart of Steven Dick’s new comedy, which opens the autumn Play, Pie and Pint season at Oran Mor, there’s what should be a strong idea for a spot of contemporary absurdist drama.

Faster, Louder

Oran Mor, Glasgow


The central character, Gavin, is a depressed middle-aged singleton who spends too much time sitting around his Glasgow flat, drinking cheap wine and surfing the internet.

One night, he sends an ill-advised tweet to the effect that if he ever has to listen to a certain teenage rock star’s latest hit again, the singer, one Tyler Mackenzie, will “get harpooned”; cue a police investigation, as Gavin is accused of threatening murder, and a furious army of fans gathers outside his house, baying for blood.

“The word became flesh, and dwelt among us!” quavers Gavin, clutching his god-bothering mother’s Bible to his bosom; it’s an interesting thought, in the age of the instantly-powerful meme. The trouble is, though, that Dick chooses to explore his theme through such an elderly-looking sitcom format that the effect is often excruciating, right down to the terrible wig worn by Isabelle Joss as Gavin’s wretched old stereotype of a mum.

The cast are heroic, as Joss, Rosalind Sydney and Harry Ward double and treble their way through a farce-style plot full of ludicrously unconvincing twists, and lumbering instances of politically-correct bureaucracy gone mad; but by the time they fight their way through to the final scene, we’ve largely lost interest in whether Gavin survives his ordeal, or ends up torn limb from limb by one of Tyler’s frenzied fans.

Seen on 01.09.14

•Run ends today