A Play, A Pie and A Pint – The Uncertainty Files Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Òran Mór and Paines Plough
Linda McLean (writer), Charlotte Gwynner (director), Patrick McGurn (designer), Kirsten Hogg (associate designer), Grant Anderson (lighting designer), Scott Twynholm (sound designer), Andrew Cowan, David Gleeson, Gary Wilson, Ross Kirkland (Òran Mór technicians), Harriet Stewart, Andy Dempsey (stage managers), Tara Wilkinson (producer for Paines Plough), Susannah Armitage (associate producer for Òran Mór), David MacLennan (producer for Òran Mór)
Steven Duffy, Lesley Hart, Helen Mallon (The Orchard Project Interviewees)
Running time

The stark scene is set with three tables on stage, each with a chair, a microphone and a mug. The noise of traffic is in the background. Three actors identically dressed (well almost!) in white sneakers, jeans and blue tee shirts sit themselves at each table. We are told in the programme that they are The Orchard Project Interviewees, but there is nothing in the play’s text itself to indicate this.

A series of characters of interviewees, only identified by their age and initials, is taken on by the actors who become vehicles for their anonymous voices. The actors used physicality to morph, sometimes to the opposite sex, to the adopted character. This feat was smoothly performed by all three in spite of the constraints of being seated throughout the performance. Helen Mallon deserves a particular mention for her particular observance of body language and accent.

As the play’s title tells us, we are looking at what life is about – uncertainty. Through speaking about sex, race, religion, gender, animals, death, parenthood, nature and growing up, the characters give their personal view on what uncertainty means.

This is tightly performed piece that evoked not just amusement but the recognition of the wide array of views with the theme of uncertainty at their core, yet it ends ironically with a resounding ‘Yes!’

It is a good day when you learn a new verb. Linda McLean’s play taught us the verb ‘to quiche’ but you’ll have to see the play to find out what it means!

This is the third week of this third season of the fantastic lunchtime theatre event, A Play, A Pie and A Pint, jointly presented by Òran Mór and Paines Plough when, till Saturday 23 October, the Traverse Theatre will be showing five brand new plays by some of the UK and Ireland’s top writers.

They will be performed at the Traverse following World premieres at Glasgow’s Òran Mór, then these five co-productions will tour to the Live Theatre in Newcastle, the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry and Bewley’s Café Theatre in Dublin, taking A Play, A Pie and A Pint to more people than ever before.

Dates and Time

Tues 5 – Sat 9 October, 1pm

Tickets are £12 and include a play, a pie and a pint of Caledonian IPA or McEwan’s 70 Shilling, 175ml glass of wine, regular glass of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Lemonade or Orange Juice.

Next week’s play will be Calais by April de Angelis