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Review: Pantomime

Maw Goose

Maw Goose

Oran Mor, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

Summertime - and, honouring the late David MacLennan's wheeze of having A Panto, A Pie and A Pint in July as well as December, the Oran Mor team deliver a Maw Goose for our times. It is, of course, a hoot, or should that be a cackle?

The script-writing team of Dave Anderson and MacLennan himself are on their satirical-social-political game, with nippy skites at other games, from the forthcoming Commonwealth sporting event to the less-than-sporting ploys used by the rich to benefit from the poor who've had their benefits cut. Cue Maw Goose, a lady of uncertain age and body shape - aka Dave Anderson, as a sorely trachled, totally skint wee wumman who rents 784 Wild Cat Close, an address that nods affectionately at MacLennan's past achievements.

True to panto traditions, there's a Good Fairy (Juliet Cadzow), a Demon King (George Drennan) and a daft laddie (Frances Thorburn is Maw Goose's Wullie - the rude humour assumes we're all grown-up in this audience).

But true to Oran Mor traditions, one person can play many parts. Cadzow, with the aid of cut-outs in the scenery, accounts for five hilariously different Partick wifies while Drennan gets to put the trumpet into strumpet when Maw Goose gets physically photo-shopped in exchange for the magic goose (Thorburn again) who has brought wealth but who can't turn back time.

Aamid all the high jinks, clever songs, snash and patter - and rhymes that pair "loan shark" with "oligarch" - you have a poignant salute to the passing of time and of MacLennan.

The closing chorus of "enjoy yourself, it's later than you think" is bitter-sweet, but rousingly done by all - a whole-hearted salute to the lunchtime fun that resumes again on September 1.

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