The SSE Hydro, 19th September – 10th October
Still Game’s Jack, Victor et al light up the stage in a truly wonderful performance at the Hydro. Even after a seven-year hiatus, the Craiglang pensioners deliver a bigger, better, rowdier show to the packed Glasgow stadium, so that the audience were not merely passive viewers, melting into their seats, but part of one huge assembly, united in their roaring laughter.
Isa’s incessant gossiping, Navid’s determination to sell cheap crap and Tam’s aversion to spending any money at all make for familiar gags and the show combines this perfectly with new material. From lonely Boabby’s breakdown, to a very, very surreal hallucinogenic Bollywood dance, to the intense revealing of Meena’s face, the whole performance keeps the audience included and excited. Even the very brief set changes are fun, as the stadium is taught how to speak “Craiglang”. The atmosphere was electric as Jack and Victor enacted their top five Boabby put-downs. A personal favourite: when Jack and Victor walk into the Clansman and Boabby remarks that Jack has put on a little weight, he replies, “Aye, that’s right. Every time I shag your wife, she makes me a sandwich!”
Although the show as a whole is enjoyable, there is still a sense that it is lacking something. Usually, more jokes are crammed into a thirty minute episode than what the two and a half hour production has to offer. The script, at times, is self-indulgent too. Jack and Victor make numerous references to the Hyrdo, and to shows which made comebacks, which is cheesy at best.
None of this detracts, however, from the buzz of seeing Still Game live. It’s a tough job for the acts to live up to six series’ worth of humour, and even more so after the television show ended in a bitter feud, but the actors satisfied the hunger of the audience, and perhaps gave a slight glimmer of hope that there may be more of Criaglang to come.