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Princess For A Day, Oran Mor, Glasgow

Jack Dickson's drugs and diapers comedy drama for A Play, A Pie and A Pint is his first work for the stage.

And an amiable peek down the cracks at life in the margins of society it is too. Think a Bill Forsyth-lite version of Three Men and A Baby meets Trainspotting.

Directed by Peter Arnott, it has two Glasgow street junkies, Raz (Steven Rae) and Malkie (an excellent Johnny Austin), find their drug-addled world, and non-workaday routine, turned upside down when the former brings a baby into their midst.

As the fact he's a father begins to sink in for Raz, the baby's presence becomes the cue for some gentle comedy, philosophical reflections on life and facing up to responsibility as "Uncle" Malkie milks the chance to use the wean as a begging tool, while Raz contemplates the fact he finally has something in his life to get clean for.

As the short scenes gather pace, Dickson's tragi-comedy succeeds in putting a human face on an ignored and demonised section of society. Nowhere more so than when our Vladimir and Estragon smackheads gleefully map out a life of opportunity for Princess, yet when it comes to imagining a life for themselves, find the horizon blank beyond the next fix.

With the mutual dependency of the two characters deftly realised in the comic exchanges between Austin and Rae, the show may lack the true grit of life on the streets, but the fact Dickson avoids a sugar-coated happy ending, in a world where there are few, is to his credit.

Sponsored by Heineken.


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