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Only The Lonely, Oran Mor, Glasgow

Following a winter break, A Play, A Pie and A Pint makes a welcome return with Ann Marie di Mambro's gentle, lightweight comedy about a couple of loveless singletons and their elderly parents.

Directed by Liz Carruthers, and starring River City's Libby McArthur, Finlay Mclean, Alan McHugh and Anne Kidd, this is, if truth be told, a rather tame and tepid start to proceedings. Hopefully there will be more engaging, challenging, and entertaining work to come in the following months.

As it is, the somewhat sluggish set sees mummy's boy Jim (McHugh) enter into the life of McArthur's disappointed fiftysomething Diane when he escorts her father back to his house after the old codger has forgotten where he parked his car.

From there we predictably flit between both households as Jim's sex-starved and Sopranos-loving mother Sadie, played by Kidd, contemplates seducing the new neighbour; Diane's secret assignation in the Borders is revealed as a desperate throw of the dice by a lonely woman and Jim starts to look like perfect boyfriend material by play's end.

Given how little depth there is to either the writing or characterisation on show, the four-strong cast do their best to bring some warmth and life to this generation-gap piece about wanting the best for your kids.

But the pedestrian, old-fashioned production succeeds only in raising an amusing smile from time to time. And there's no disguising this is sitcom-lite fare, while amusing enough in parts, and doesn't carry enough dramatic weight to make it anything more than a passing pleasure soon forgotten.


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