Review: Yer Granny

Gregor Fisher in Yer Granny. Pic: Comp
Gregor Fisher in Yer Granny. Pic: Comp
Have your say

NOT for nothing are some of the greats of contemporary Scottish comedy cast in the National Theatre of Scotland production of Yer Granny, a splendidly Glaswegian romp based on the Argentinian tragi-farce La Nona.

* * * * * *

King’s Theatre, Leven Street

The show is as good a showcase of their talents as you could want, with ribald routines peppered with rude gags in the finest West Coast vernacular, the blackest of humour as the plot darkens and an explosive climax.

The action revolves around the dreadful 100-year-old gluttonous matriarch of the title, and while Gregor Fisher has few lines beyond “S’at ye’ve goat?” as she demands more food and destroys her family in the process, his splendid physical comedy is called upon throughout.

Jonathan Watson leaves the Only an Excuse mannerisms behind and carries off the role of proud but deranged fish fryer Cammy and Maureen Beattie turns in a strong and suitably frustrated performance as his put-upon wife.

The delivery of so many of Paul Reilly’s lines is straight out of Still Game, but his feckless failed musician is none the worse for the echoes of Winston.

Rab C stalwart Brian Pettifer matches Fisher for clowning as rival fish shop owner Donnie Francisco and has some cracking one-liners (wine gums will never be the same), while his unlikely bride Marissa, played by Louise McCarthy, hams it up as the ditsy daughter in the best Benny Hill Show fashion.

But Barbara Rafferty just shaves it as the star of the show with her transformation from innocent auntie to amphetamine-addled drug dealer.

Douglas Maxwell’s adaptation and Graham McLaren’s direction are wonderfully evocative of a tenement life which has all but gone, all big curtains and formica units, but was daily reality for thousands of people crammed into dank flats and finding ways to earn a crust.

Happily there is not a single reference to football and the only nod to the darker side of Glasgow life is Marissa’s description of a dog as a German Sectarian.

As with Slab Boys and The Steamie you can intellectualise all you like, but just sit back and enjoy the laughs and think about it afterwards.

Run ends Saturday