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Theatre review

Faster, Louder

Faster, Louder

Oran Mor, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

Summer is now officially over. Just as well, then, that autumn's theatre offerings are already arriving on stage, the 21st season of Oran Mor's legendary A Play, a Pie and a Pint among them.

First out of the trap is Faster, Louder. Written by Steven Dick and directed by Pete Collins, it takes desperately unfair advantage of the lunchtime audience's appetite for a good laugh by dishing up a load of old tweet masquerading as farce.

It requires more than two doors, and a great deal more wit than we have here, to turn a series of bumbling misunderstandings into farce - and that's before we even get down to the business of making us care about the foibles and frailties of those who are the victims of their own folly.

Do we care that Gavin Mann - author of a stupid, drunken tweet threatening ultra-violence to a teenage pop star - is about to be arrested for posting a "menacing electronic communication"? Not even the affable dodger that actor Harry Ward conjures out of the scripted caricature can get us onside with his efforts to squirm out of criminal charges.

As for the po-faced WPC? The hackette from The Sun? They're both played for more than they're worth by Rosalind Sydney, whose WPC Plod personna nobly refrains from taking a truncheon to the laboured dog poo gags.

What about Isabelle Joss? How valiant is she, switching characters between a God-bothering old biddy in the wig from hell and - with a great American drawl and some cool dude moves - the lumpen-sullen lad who is the offended celeb?

As the improbability level of the plot twists reaches Warp Factor Nine - well beyond the reach of good comic invention - Mann's comeuppance is too late to save the play.

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