Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut
It’s nothing new of course, but the Oran Mor has been incubating many a theatrical hit in its lunchtime theatre slot of late, and the latest to make the jump into the evening hours and bigger stages is Morag Fullarton’s Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut.
At the Tron this month and heading for the Fringe this August, the show broke the mould by being the first in Oran Mor’s Classic Cuts series to take a film rather than another play as the starting point for creating a piece of theatre so succinct that it can fit into a lunchbreak, with time left over for a pie and a pint to boot.
‘My plan was to obviously try and keep the best bits of the movie, but also have a lot of fun with the staging of it,’ says writer and director Fullarton, clearly revelling in being at the helm of such a fun project once again. ‘We weren’t trying to put, as it were, the film on stage, we were turning it into a theatrical event.’
A great success with audiences on its first outing, the show treads a line between homage and gentle spoof, with three actors chopping and changing through a plethora of roles (including some pretty iconic portrayals — ‘there is a bow to Humphrey Bogart, definitely,’ notes Fullarton) at top speed, with a playful element of the shambolic as they barrel through plot twists and lines so well they’re familiar even to those few who haven’t seen the film.
Fullarton was cautious, however, about losing the roundedness of the piece in the editing process. ‘I think you’ve got to watch that you don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater … the idea was not only to have fun with it but to keep the moral heart of the piece, as well as those classic noir lines.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 7–Sat 23 Jul