Ding-Dong (A Bit of a Farce)
- Lorna Irvine
- 29 March 2017
Families at war in fun romp
Hilary Lyon's debut play for A Play A Pie and A Pint sees her write and also star as Susie, a well-meaning liberal Morningside mum who clashes with snootily neurotic neighbour Jennifer (Gail Watson) as the pair take Neighbourhood Watch to new extremes. First world problems become third world war when Jennifer emotionally blackmails Susie over the raising techniques of her adopted son Mikey (Buchan Lennon), who Jennifer perceives as a troublemaker. All the while, Jennifer is oblivious to her own shortcomings in the family department: money, it seems, cannot buy class or common sense.
It exists in a little soapy bubble with sitcom elements, particularly when dealing with Susie's New Age sister Chrissie (Clare Waugh), who tries to intervene in Susie's life out of her belief that she can sense auras, cleanse, heal and other nonsensical hippy traits. Some one-liners really zing but initially it is a little messy, only finding its feet structurally in the dynamic second half.
Morag Fullarton's direction has at times a strange stop-start pace, while Lennon, excellent though he is as Mikey, seems to have wandered in from a more naturalistic play. Still, the cast are enormous fun, especially a campy Watson channelling the spirit of the late Rik Mayall, and as squeaky toys and tangerines fly, there is a lot to recommend this dysfunctional comedy of questionable manners.
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 27 Mar–Sat 1 Apr; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Mon 3–Sat 8 Apr