Tuesday, October 01, 2019

"Fly Me to the Moon" - September 2019

So, it’s been a while.  Although we’ve seen lots of "Disney on Ice" and "Walking with Dinosaurs" type shows, grown up theatre has been absent from our lives.  But… sometimes being in a civil service type job has its benefits and our latest trial of a weekly “Wellbeing hour” for staff seemed the perfect opportunity to get back to the theatre.  And in the unlikely event that anyone still has View From The Stalls in bookmarks (are RSS feeds even still a thing?) I figured I might as well put something up here for old times' sake.

Anyway, I headed along to Oran Mor for my first “A Play, A Pie & A Pint” in more than 5 years, and although some things had changed (the steak pie is now a scotch pie), many of the faces in the audience were familiar.  Given this long term supportive audience, it’s no real surprise that some of the writers have learned what buttons to press.  There have always been a few plays that relied on the Glasgow West End superiority complex a little too much, and for me, “Fly Me to the Moon” falls firmly in this category.  Its laughing-at-not-laughing-with portrayal of two Glasgow wummin working as care workers left me deeply uncomfortable throughout - in a way that a few earnest lines covering their financial pressures could never overcome.  Of course all professions and classes have their share of rogues and chancers, but here Francis and Loretta are held up to be examples of good care workers.  And yet still they trudge on through one farcical decision, criminal caper or moment of stupidity after another.  

As in the past, I can recognise when I’m out of kilter with the rest of the audience, and I’m happy to admit that the the Oran Mor audience seemed to lap it up. But that only served to make me feel even more uncomfortable.  Location and audience matters.  Put Marie Jones' play on at the Pavilion and I'm fine with the laughing-with response it would no doubt receive.  But at Oran Mor my heart sank further and my arms folded tighter with every laugh around me, and I'm even less thrilled at the prospect of it entertaining an Edinburgh crowd next week.

I'm still hoping to get along to a few more PPPs because what else am I going to do with my "Wellbeing hour"? Yoga?

Image by Leslie Black used with permission (they never stopped sending us the weekly PPP images and programmes!)