Plan B: A Wee Home From Home
The more things change the more they stay the same, as the old saying goes. Twenty-one years ago, when A Wee Home From Home was first staged, it was an astute reflection on the social and political landscape in Scotland. Dancer Frank McConnell, musician Michael Marra, set designer Karen Tennent and director Gerry Mulgrew teamed up to create the vibrant and humorous tale of one man’s return to Glasgow after years away.
Now, in the year of Homecoming, the show is back. With the passing of time, did it need an overhaul? ‘Just wee bits and pieces,’ says McConnell. ‘Because as soon as we tried to tamper with it, we realised just how much blood, sweat and tears had gone into it in the first place. And also, not that much has changed.’
McConnell plays Frankie, whose return to the family home brings up a groundswell of memories. Is the fact the two men share a first name purely coincidental? ‘It’s not autobiographical but we all drew on our childhoods and notions of what we thought it meant to be Scottish,’ says McConnell. ‘And at first we had the notion of somebody trying to leave Glasgow, but we realised it was much more interesting if they were returning there – what they might have missed and what they definitely didn’t miss. And although we used Glasgow, in some respects it could have been any city, because the show is just as much about being force-fed Scottishness during the 1960s and 70s.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 17 & Wed 18 Nov; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 25 Nov