Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"100" - November 2007

Much to our shame we'd never made it out to Oran Mor in Glasgow's west end for their hugely popular "A Play, A Pie and A Pint" series of lunchtime shows. The lunchtime slot doesn't really work for us and I always seemed to hear about the good shows after the event. But the addition of Wednesday night performances as "A Dinner, A Drama and a Dram" were more convenient, and the series reaching its landmark 100th play gave us good reason to go along.

"100" is a musical written by David MacLennan who is also the driving force behind the Play/Pie/Pint concept at Oran Mor, and sees him collaborating once again with his old mate Dave Anderson from their Wildcat and 7:84 days. Indeed we're firmly back in the territory of that kind of political theatre with "100" as we look at how society has changed since 1907.

The main conceit sees a marketing student on graduation day (Claire Waugh) with her father (George Drennan) transported 'Life on Mars' style to what appears to be a 1907 era theme bar. The first musical number is a powerful one - not necessarily musically but its message as we see the student rejoicing at finally being freed from the confines of education, while her father recalls his appreciation for his own opportunities and their 1907 waitress (Pauline Knowles) tells of her own aspirations. It's very effective in making an audience think of how we view education these days. And it's not alone among a series of strong numbers - a lovely explanation of the purchasing choices we face before breakfast and a brief history of protest being the highlights.

These are interspersed with Anderson providing an insight into events of 1907 and Allan Tall performing Robert Service's "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" (written that year). While enjoyable in themselves, they are really a bit of a distraction from the focus of the show and I'd rather have seen the main story expanded.

The performances were all strong, although I was a little disappointed by the acoustics which did make some of the lyrics difficult to catch, but the real strength of the piece is in MacLennan's writing and its interesting perspective on the advances made and the failings of the present day.

All in, a great evening out and at £25 for a show, a lovely two course dinner and a whisky it's good value, and I'm sure we'll be back. And I really will need to make more of an effort to see some of the lunchtime shows as well.

'100' runs until Saturday at Oran Mor at 1.05pm


2 Heckles

Sean said...

Sounds like a very interesting show. From a personal point of view, thinking that my Grandparents were born in the teens or twenties, lived as youngsters in the 1930's, went through the war, and then the 5 decades of radical social change after that is sometimes hard to actually fully grasp.

With regard to the play, a pie and a pint, or dinner/drama/dram concept, I find it very annoying. I would have gone to some of the recent London staging of the event (at 6pm though) if food a drink wasn't included in the price. I have a slight dietary problem at the moment and can't eat a pie, and I don't really want to have a drink on my own. This excludes people who just want to see the play, having deals for the audience that wants it is fine, but some of us don't. The play's the thing!

Sorry for rushed comments, I am so busy and in need of constant sleep of late! Still really enjoying the blog (RSAMD thing sounds interesting...).

Statler said...

Fair comment regarding the drawback of such 'food inclusive' offerings. At £25 the Dinner, Drama, Dram works well if you like the food but as it's a fixed menu (with no choices) if you don't like what's offered it's a poor evening. That said, Oran Mor's Play, Pie, Pint at £10 is reasonable value for the play on its own even if you skip the Pie and Pint. I'm not sure how the London seasons prices were pitched in comparison.

And its good to see you back posting regularly again at 'Sean in the Stalls'