‘It’s my first one,’ says playwright Douglas Maxwell of his new production, The Bookie. ‘My Fisher-Price “My First Musical”, it’s a proper learning curve.’ In a script that gives a Scottish flavour to Vegas-style razzle dazzle, a big time casino tycoon returns to his dishevelled home town to set up a new branch of his gambling empire. With just one councillor left to bribe the seedy plan is thrown into turmoil by the tycoon’s estranged brother, who dies and leaves not a will, but a bet – that true love will come to the town by Valentine’s Day. Forced into accepting the wager the tycoon is then in a race against time to find true love from among the women of the town.
With such a romp of a scenario Maxwell admits: ‘It’s slightly to the wilder side of Gilbert and Sullivan.’ Musical theatre fans will certainly leave with a spring in their step as the music is created by award-winning composer Aly Macrae, but even for those of us who don’t hum along so willingly, The Bookie looks to be a bit of a guilty pleasure with fun as its main aim. ‘Theatre has to be a mixed menu doesn’t it? So often it’s nouvelle cuisine on a great big empty plate and sometimes it’s a burger and chips,’ says Maxwell. ‘But this is a really good burger and chips.’ Delicious, funny and light-hearted; for those looking for a great night out this production is set to be a pretty safe bet.
Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 29 Sep–Sat 2 Oct