Assessment, Gilded Balloon Rose StreetTheatre, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Shows on a Shoestring
Robert Dawson Scott (writer), Alice Langley (director), Catherine McLaughlan (designer), Manuel Frenda (lighting design)
Taqi Nazeer (Amrit Roy), Stephen Clyde (Alan McDonald), Selina Boyack (Siobhan Clarke) and Karen Bartke (Karen Baird)

Running time

In a time when the elderly population in the UK is on the rise, and the pension age goes beyond what a generation expected by notches year on year, theatre critic turned writer, Robert Dawson Scott, has written a salutary play.

It is an indeterminate time in the near future, and ‘His Majesty’s Government’ has decided it needs a Pension Exchange Scheme to ease the strain on the nation’s purse. It has also decided to contract this pilot scheme out to a private company known as Well Gov. This target- driven lot is run by corporate boss Siobhan Clarke, played with steely eyed determination by Selina Boyack. It is probably no accident that this production has made her coffee of choice from a chain whose tax paying could do her and her cronies out of a job.

When she sends out her junior colleague Taqi Nazeer (Amrit Roy) under threat of dismissal to seal a devilish deal to ‘bring forward the inevitable’, we meet one of their targets - Alan McDonald. Stephen Clyde brilliantly captures the 77year old with a recognisable West of Scotland cynicism and dry one liners. He is a widower living with his daughter Karen (Karen Bartke), and two grandsons, who likes a wee trip to the bookie’s and the pub. Well, what’s life without a punt and a drink, especially when you’ve reached your country’s life expectancy?

With an acute ear for West of Scotland speech and humour, Dawson Scott has astutely brought to light the skewed and inhumane thinking of those in power and its direct effect on a family, in this tightly directed and well performed piece.

The gorgeous and very apt Country classic, He’ll Have to Go, from Jim Reeves, played out this funny, moving and thoughtful play that was most engaging despite what was at times a very noisy venue.

August 3 – 28 (not 15) at 14.30