It's Behind You is the latest hit from a Play A Pie and A Pint (4 stars)

It's Behind You

Panto hell in superb two hander

Writer Alan McHugh has penned, and starred in, a fair few pantomimes in his time, so who better to write this, the first production in Play A Pie and A Pint's new Spring season.

Norrie (McHugh) despite signs of flagging and forgetting his lines, is still hoofing it in 'comedy tits' and bloomers as a dame. Son Nicky (Paul James Corrigan) always typecast as the 'daft boy,' is usurping him by bagging primetime TV roles. What begins as a kind of verbal ping pong that's so scabrous Bette Davis and Joan Crawford would blush, quickly changes pace, brimming with acrimony and sorrow.

Yet that's not to say it's in any way trite or sentimental. It hits all the beats beautifully, at once a searing indictment of cash cows from pantomime cows, and an intelligent character study. McHugh and Corrigan riff effortlessly off each other, and McHugh's embittered, weary Norrie is unexpectedly moving, as he chastises his son for selling out; while acknowledging that it may be curtains for his time in showbusiness, and he may never get that call for 'the Scottish play'.

Ian Grieve's direction lends a lovely naturalism to the duo's speech patterns, and the wordplay and showbiz tropes of audience manipulation and zingers always land. Indeed, they are a fully-formed double act, even when tearing strips off each other. A class act, and a buoyant production which seems as effortless as slipping on a rubber chicken.

Oran Mor, Glasgow Mon 12 Feb- Sat 17 Feb

A Play, a Pie and a Pint: It's Behind You!

Christmas-set drama written by Alan McHugh.

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