There’s something going on, in David Anderson’s recent short musicals written for A Play, A Pie And A Pint at Oran Mor. They’re looking more and more like fragments of a bigger, more ambitious work about Anderson’s parents’ generation, the ones who married around the time of the Second World War, and who brought up their children in the welfare state world they felt they had helped to build.
Oran Mor, Glasgow ***
And theatrically, this sense of an ambitious project emerging through a short format leads to an odd combination of brilliance and sheer structural dislocation, as shows begin and end in the wrong places, as if they were scenes from something else entirely.
So in I Love You In Danish – a title itself largely unexplained, and curiously ill-fitting – we go back to the start of the story, as the young man and the young woman meet on the eve of the Second World War, and get married as it starts. There is a Chanteuse, the wonderful Christine Bovill, who sings passionately about them, while they sing to each other; and they have a wartime baby, Gloria, who dies in infancy, but lives on like a memory, or an evening star.
The music is often glorious, particularly in Bovill’s hands; Kevin Lennon and Miriam Ewell-Sutton are lovely as the lovers, and Anderson hammers the ivories with his usual passion.
Just as the story reaches Chapter 2, though –with the couple reunited, and the political victory of 1945 in their grasp – the show shudders to a close, leaving us wondering when and where we might see the next instalment; perhaps at Oran Mor, this time next year.
Final performance today