No Limit People theatre take Blue Hen to Citizens
‘The name of the company is No Limit People and the idea is don’t take no for an answer. Make things happen as opposed to waiting.’ Nobody could accuse Scott Kyle of waiting around for things to happen: using his own savings he bought a few props and put on a production of Des Dillon’s sectarian prison cell comedy Singin’ I’m No a Billy He’s a Tim at Glasgow College of Nautical Studies for 60 people. Then it went to the Citizens Theatre and an audience of a hundred, then out on tour, then 600 at the SECC. Next year it’ll be playing to up to a thousand people a night in the Clyde Auditorium and the company Kyle founded, NLP Theatre, is currently being welcomed back to the Citizens and theatres around Scotland with a new Dillon play, Blue Hen.
Blue Hen, starring Coronation Street actor Charles Lawson and Kyle himself, is about two unemployed men on ‘Coatbridge’s roughest scheme’ who decide that the way to ride out the recession is by breeding chickens and selling the eggs. What they don’t bargain for is the fact that they’ve bought 20 male chicks, who proceed to grow up and eliminate one another until they’re left with one ‘mad mass murderer of a red rooster’, whose domination of the chicken run is matched only by the stranglehold of the local dealer on the scheme.
For Kyle, it’s all about entertaining an audience who might not normally go to the theatre, giving them something they can relate to, something that makes them laugh – a good night out, essentially. Moreover, it’s about showing something authentic, and not demanding of working class characters that they change or ‘go to drama school or university to become a better person’, a narrative trend Kyle and Dillon are both tired of. But the big issues lurking on the edge of NLP’s work - from sectarianism to chronic unemployment and drugs – won’t be allowed to encroach on the fun in Blue Hen: ‘We’ve got Cadbury’s cream eggs in it, we’ve got Buckfast, we’ve got cleavers and chickens. There’s so much hilarity and we’re finding more every day.’
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 5–Sat 8 May; Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, Thu 13–Sat 15 May, then touring