Vinyl Idol

Oran Mor, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

four stars

TWENTY-something Clara wants to go back, on a cloud of self-induced nostalgia, to the 1950’s. She has the swishy, full-skirted floral frock, a job in a vintage shop – called, without apparent irony, The Good Old Days – and the walls of her bedroom are adorned with LPs by her vinyl idols: Cliff Richards, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley in particular. You want to go back, Clara? Well, be careful what you wish for. It’s not all doo-wop harmonies, as this snappy bit of comedy guignol from writers Debbie Hannan and Andy McGregor (also the director and composer) reveals .

It starts to go scary when Clara (Kara Swinney) is left a package by a strange man. It’s actually her boss, who fancies her enough to source the elusive Cliff Richard LP – Love is Forever (1965) – that will complete her collection. Later that night, when the disc is on the turntable, there’s a knocking from inside the closet.

Giving away too much of the plot would spoil the mix of sly spoofery and sheer comic-book daftness that powers through this final tuneful mini-musical in the Play, Pie and Pint season. Let’s just say that Paul James Corrigan and Darren Brownlie make Clara’s romantic dreams come true with hilarious panache – Corrigan dons the sharp titfer and mannerisms of Ol' Blue Eyes in Swoonatra mode, a be-quiffed Brownlie is all-movin’ and a-groovin’ as Cliff before uh-huh-huh, he’s Elvis in rhinestones and cape. But vinyl idols have their own demons and these prove a fantastical kitsch-horror wake-up call for Clara – and an additional source of guffaws for us. Gavin Whitworth on the piano backs the trio as they pastiche golden oldies then sing out for the future. What will a post-Brexit future be like? Next week’s summer panto, Rumpel Still-Skint could well have that issue in its satirical sights.

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