Review: A Gambler’s Guide To Dying

Gary McNair: A GAmbler's Guide To Dying
Gary McNair: A GAmbler's Guide To Dying
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EVERYONE loves their grandad.

* * * *

Traverse, Cambridge Street

Why? Because he’s a hero. He appears wise, he has the most colourful stories, and he’ll always love you no matter what.

To centre a one-man show around him, then, is always going to easily resonate with an audience. Add a serious, time-sensitive health matter to the mix and you’ve got your paying customers hooked before you even start.

In Gary McNair’s case, his grandad Archie has just discovered he has terminal cancer and only a month to live. A perennial gambler, he bets his entire savings on living to see in the new millennium. Will he make it? Well, do you wanna bet?

Full of good-natured gallus humour and buckets of Robin Williams-style pathos, the old message of hope is stitched into every word of McNair’s dialogue. It also helps that McNair looks, dresses and sounds like a mid-1970s Billy Connolly telling a funny, bittersweet story about his own grandad.

Ultimately, though, Archie is the total sum of his parts. He means different things to different people. But to McNair, he’s a hero you want to see succeed - even if falling at the final hurdle seems more likely.

Until August 29