McLuckie's Line (4 stars)

McLuckie's Line

An unsentimental yet moving portrait of masculinity and working class politics

A plethora of Weegie misfits populate the gritty urban landscape of Martin Travers and Martin Docherty's new comedy drama, charting the life of the inappropriately named Lawrence McLuckie. Beautifully portrayed by Docherty, he is a jobbing actor waiting for test results in a hospital waiting room, since a cancer diagnosis has meant he's more used to the swish of treatment room curtains than theatre ones. Surely a phone call from his agent will bring positive news?

With the audience acting as his confidante, McLuckie is a wiry, outspoken man fond of the bookies, who had a burgeoning career as a jockey, only for fate to intervene. Now parts like Puck in a rave production of A Midsummer Night's Dream (hilarious) and a dodgy run of chippy Scots stereotypes fill his time, when he's not receiving chemotherapy. 'Acting is like a test, though', he smiles ruefully, knowing that each audition, like each day, may be his last.

The lyrical, yet profane writing is a joy, a flip of the coin between high farce and physical theatre, and yet it still feels incredibly poignant – a stinging indictment of the lack of working class voices and the performance of masculinity, betrayed by McLuckie even when at his most vulnerable. It never tips over into sentimentality or easy answers, and instead feels like a spontaneous meeting with an old friend – the kind you love dearly, even though he would happily steal the fillings from your teeth for a flutter.

Citizens Theatre, Wed Apr 25- Sat Apr 28, touring Scotland in September

McLuckie's Line

Unemployed actor and compulsive gambler McLuckie waits nervously in a claustrophobic corridor of a Glasgow hospital. He’s expecting the phone call he’s been waiting for his whole life – what could go wrong?

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