From Paisley to Paolo (3 stars)

From Paisley to Paolo

Bittersweet comedy focuses on a young Paolo Nutini fan

Martin McCardie's comedy is bittersweet, soaked in the tears and booze of working class boys. Jack (Michael McCardie) is a typically horny, confused teenager reeling from the recent death of his beloved Papa. When he wins tickets from a local radio station to see his hero, MOR pop crooner Paolo Nutini (with whom he shares a birthday) at T In The Park, it seems he's concocted a story to impress his friends Mavis (Joshua Haynes) and Charlie (Saul Davidson).Thus the journey of three disparate pals to self-actualisation begins, but not before some laddish banter and wry observational humour about the aspirations of Scottish outsiders flies between the trio.

There are some fine lines in McCardie's script, ruminating on modern masculinity. All three want different things: Charlie doesn't want to be defined by, or limited to, his complex sexuality; Mavis who works in the funeral business 'embalming bams' for a living, is desperate to break free from his mother's apron strings, and Jack desires pop stardom and groupies. Yet, the script, intelligent as it is, is hampered by a mawkish sentimentality it never really seems to earn.

The trio give impressive performances, yet Stuart Davids' direction slumps in the middle, making the production feel like it needs more lead in its pencil, to paraphrase a certain famous Nutini number. In the main, though, it's all very charming.

Oran Mor, Glasgow, until Sat 7 Sep; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 10–Sat 14 Sep.

From Paisley to Paolo

Its 2006, Jack is 19 and was born on the same day, in the same hour, in the same hospital as Paolo Nutini. He goes to T in the Park in a stolen hearse with his two best friends Jack and Mavis, and promises that his best pal Paolo will be there to meet them. Nothing will be the same again.

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