Turn the Night 'takes the ritual of the karaoke night and transforms it through a series of characters'
- Craig Angus
- 8 May 2019
Musician Gav Prentice writes and performs solo for his first play that looks at Scottish identity
'I never imagined doing this when I was younger,' Gav Prentice says. 'I never attended theatre as a kid and it wasn't something that anyone I knew did either. The only thing I can offer theatre is that experience as an outsider.' Best known as a musician – whether as half of pop mavericks Over The Wall, leader of the politically minded Ultras, or as a solo artist – a theatre show represents a new challenge.
Prentice has explored Scottish identity before; in his songs, and theatre – he collaborated with Kieran Hurley on 2014's Rantin. With Turn The Night, the focus is on working-class urban communities such as the one Coatbridge-native Prentice was raised in, areas suffering from the effects of de-industrialisation. Prentice wants to give an 'honest explanation' of these communities with all their glories and contradictions. 'The best way to bring that out,' he says, 'was to show how a night out actually sounds to the vast majority of people in the central belt.'
Prentice takes the ritual of the karaoke night – usually 'American songs, washed down with absolutely loads of alcohol and with a bit of an edge of aggression' – and transforms it through a series of characters who sing original songs about their lives, allowing him to avoid more obvious political protest songs for a more personal commentary. He pauses and laughs at the picture he's painted. 'I should make it clear though that the show is also supposed to be funny.'
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Fri 10 & Sat 11 May, part of Mayfesto.