“ I HAVEN’T even got through the door, when I hear them. They’re all ‘Wassup!’ That’s home all over, really. Embarrassingly, tragically unhip. There’s not a sniff of irony about them - they are actually 10 years out of touch,” says Tom in Last Christmas, by Matthew Bulgo, a play about the moment you can no longer avoid being an adult.
“It’s about the moment you have to let go of the past and embrace the future,” says actor Sion Pritchard, who brings Tom to life the one-man play.
He continues, “I think that’s pretty universal. It takes the audience on a real journey and it’s pretty life affirming seeing them leave with a warm feeling inside.”
In Last Christmas, the office Christmas party is in full swing.
Glitter abounds, cheap booze is being necked and someone’s trying to crash the DJ booth.
It’s the high point of the year... but Tom would rather be anywhere else on earth.
Reeling from unexpected events in his personal life, he can’t avoid returning home for Christmas, and all that he’s left behind. The directionless old friends, his fragile mother, even the sticky pub carpet. Nothing seems to have changed, but everything has.
Forced to confront the demons he’s been running from, it’s time for Tom to face his family and his future head-on.
A hit at the Fringe in 2014, award-winning Welsh theatre company Dirty Protest bring this funny, heartbreaking and uplifting play to the Traverse this festive season.
Although it has been described as ‘anti-panto’, Pritchard isn’t sure.
“I love panto. Really love it. What’s ‘anti’ about? I don’t know.
“If it means an alternative to a family Christmas show then, yeah, that’s what it is I suppose.
“Why it has to be ‘anti’ I don’t know. Maybe I find the term a little condescending. This is just a play that happens to be set at Christmas.”
As the story unfolds, audiences meet some of the people in Tom’s life.
“We meet a few different characters during Tom’s journey all of whom help him work out who he really is. A bit like Scrooge maybe,” the actor elaborates , and having played Tom since the since the character’s inception, he should know.
“There are a few people he genuinely loves like his girlfriend Nat, his Mam and old mate Paul. I really love these relationships. They feel so real.”
The production premiered at the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff in December 2012, did the Celtic Festival at Theatr Clwyd the following year and then the Fringe in 2014.
“We didn’t know what to expect. It ended up getting some lovely reviews and we finished on a high, which took us to the Soho Theatre via a tour of Wales. And now here we are,” he adds.
Last Christmas, Traverse, Cambridge Street, until 23 Dec, 8pm (2.30pm), £16.50, 0131-228 1404