Review: Spuds, PPP


Photo: Alan Wylie

Andy McGregor’s musical for PPP’s Mini Musicals season is  a kind of ‘Chip Grease, the Musical’. With a swift knee in the groin to Glee, and the naff modern jukebox musical genre in general, it’s one of the most tasteless, hilarious parodies I have seen in quite a while. David (Richard Conlon) and Denise (Joanne McGuinness) are the ultimate Glasgow West Enders, full to the brim on conspicuous consumption and almost tripping over their own sense of entitlement. When suddenly- GASP!- Denise keels over and dies in a trendy bar, David and spoilt trustafarian daughter Daisy (McGuinness again) are left to fend for themselves, without insurance. What to do when the only option he has is -SHOCK HORROR!-to move to… ulp… DENNISTOUN!!!

Luckily, fate intervenes, in the form of a freak accident at Tony Mascarpone’s chip shop. When its unscrupulous owner, played with a hop, skip and a pout by the fabulous Darren Brownlie (complete with fat suit) creates some chips for the pissed-up David, the chemicals of the fat and mould react with the Irn Brew (Note non-copyrighted spelling) bringing a a new kind of high, the kind that makes people lose their minds, as well as control over their bowels. Can David create an empire for the masses? Of course he will. Time to break out the big guns- albeit toy guns. And a literal ‘death by chocolate’.


Photo: Alan Wylie

And it’s here the ridiculous, often scatological story unfolds at a cartoonish clip. Conlon and McGuinness are both superb, but it’s Brownlie’s show right up to his campy death scene.Eyes and teeth have rarely been deployed to such great effect.

The trio have glorious singing voices and excellent timing, complemented by Gavin Whitworth on piano and a strong chorus line of youthful actors. The songs are immediate and hooky, with the only mis-step in the form of an ill-advised rap. It’s an at times painfully accurate satire on the greed of the middle-classes. Catch the buzz before it disappears, or the polis come…

(Lorna Irvine)

At Oran Mor until Saturday 24th June




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