Oran Mor, Glasgow

Mary Brennan

five stars

SOMETIMES, in that post-pub/pre-hangover state, there’s only one snack that hits the truly blootered spot: chips. Washed down with fizzy skoosh, they are a comfort food – and David MacGonigle is in need of comfort. His wife has died. He misses her little ways, and her large income – her money kept them, and indolent daughter Daisy, in the West End that David felt was his true milieu. Tragic? Not when the plot of this latest Oran Mor mini-musical decides to give a cheeky Glasgow nod in the direction of the TV crime drama, Breaking Bad.

While David sleeps off the booze, his chips are getting sozzled on a rip-off version of Irn Bru that has spilled over them. Whatever’s in the phoney drink, it reacts with the chips. One bite is enough to produce a euphoric high, and a subsequent source of drug-dealing wealth for David (Richard Conlon) and Daisy (Joanne McGuinness). It’s a brilliantly daft notion that writer/director Andy McGregor builds into a comedy caper that never flags or runs out of witty lines and clever rhymes in the songs. Those songs – about loss, being poor/getting rich and getting greedy and mean with it – have the swagger of a big, showbiz musical, so hurrah! the cast of three have the strong voices and well-judged sense of the ridiculous to carry it all off.

Darren Brownlie’s body language, all little shrugs and shimmies, allows Tony, the Italian chippie, to add some vinegar sharpness into his camperie. Conlon, meanwhile, revels in his new-found ruthlessness and gets all gangsta style, seemingly unaware that Daisy is not the girl he thought he knew – well, the versatile McGuinness is picking up on several roles here. With Gavin Whitworth on supporting piano, and a chorus of enthusiastic extras, Spuds is a very more-ish addition to the usual lunchtime pie and pint.