Dir. By Graham McLaren, King’s Theatre, 26-30 May
This version of the Spanish play La Nona by Roberto Cossa adapted by Douglas Maxwell saw its debut at The King’s in Glasgow with a very enthusiastic reception from the audience.
This generation play, situated in a working class environment, is full of dynamic dialogue, especially tailored to fit a 1970s Scottish family where all of us find ourselves a character to identify with. Whether it is Angela’s romantic aspirations, Marissa’s desire to please her parents, Charlie’s artistic endeavours or Marie’s rational thinking, we have all at some point experienced a level of the family craziness they are going through.
The main theme is a family trying to overcome its differences and existential problems. Gregor Fisher does an incredible comical job as Granny, who, with her insatiable appetite acts as a link which connects all the family members and their issues. Through his physical portrayal of Granny he manages to make her an integral part of almost all the scenes and the occasional ‘What’s that you’ve got?’ never fails to make the audience laugh out loud.
The entire play along with the intermission is about two and a half hours long, but the audience can hardly feel that amount of time pass by as the play is light, snappy and brutally funny. It is upbeat, the transitions between scenes are efficient and integrate the actors themselves, which is an interesting way of letting the audience behind the scenes. Classic family problems with a darker, gritty undertone and slapstick dialogue make it into what the playwright Douglas Maxwell describes as a ‘tragedy with jokes’ in an intimate, home environment. A brilliant piece that takes comedy to the next level and, most importantly, lets you rest easy because there clearly is a crazier family than your own out there.