Liam Rudden: Audience are Still Game for a bit of smut

Still Game: Live 2 Bon Voyage. Pic: Graeme Hunter

Still Game: Live 2 Bon Voyage. Pic: Graeme Hunter

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IT’s become a tradition that whenever Still Game plays the SEC Hydro in Glasgow, my partner in crime for the night is talented Edinburgh actress Kerry Hamilton, fans of the BBC Scotland comedy will know her better as Stacey, the pizza girl.

The deal is simple, I get the tickets, Kerry drives and lets director Michael Hines know we’re on the way. Michael sorts our VIP wrist-bands for the after-show. We have the routine down to a fine art.

Two and a half years have flown by since Still Game first ventured onto the stage and into the live arena.

Hard to believe it’s been that long. It’s also staggering to recall that first run of 21 sold out performances played to a phenomenal 210,000 fans. ‘Get it ‘roun’ ye’ as Winston might say.

Having been off TV screens for the best part of a decade at the time, creators Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill, aka Jack and Victor, must have been ecstatic.

If Still Game Live was something special, who can forget the glittering Bollywood finale, as we motored along the M8 to the sequel earlier this week, both Kerry and I wondered what surprises lay in store. How do you better such a land-mark production?

Settling down in the centre of Row K - best seats in the house if you’re ever booking to see something at The Hydro - we waited for curtain up, wondering whether Kerry’s face might pop up in one of the filmed inserts as it had last time, much to her surprise and delight.

It didn’t, but then Still Game Live 2 was a very different beast to the original, which stayed close to the TV format.

This time, all bets were off and variety was king as the show opened with Jack and Victor wandering through the audience chatting with folk along the way.

As so, their latest adventure was underway as the lights came up on Navid’s, The Clansman and Victor’s front room.

Sick of Scotland’s bitter winter, Jack and Victor are off to warmer climes, hired to dance with single widows on a cruise liner... naturally, Boaby, Isa, Tam, Winston and Navid go along too. So far, so Craiglang.

Set entirely on board said cruise liner, the second act continued to do what Still Game does best, creating laughs with a saucy line in smut and toilet humour albeit on a spectacular set.

Playing to the lowest common denominator maybe, but there’s no denying the audience loved the gallus Glasgow humour.

If there’s one thing Kiernan and Hemphill know, it’s their audience.

That audience was around 10,000 strong the night we were in. A bit down on previous nights apparently, but then it was St Valentine’s Day.

To put that in perspective, however, 10,000 bums on seats is probably more than most shows that tour to any of the Capital’s theatre’s manage in a week.

Just goes to show, there are audiences out there, as long as you give them what they want.