City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Can We Live With You? Review

By Bill Dunlop - Posted on 03 April 2008

Show Details
Traverse Theatre
Lung Ha's Theatre Company and Drake Music Scotland
Clark Crystal (director), Alan Wilkins (dramaturg), Ethelinda Lashley-Johnstone (choreographer), Gary Morgan (production manager), Jessica Brettle(designer and costume designer), Maria Bechaalani (lighting designer), Matilda Brown (composer)
Alasatair MacCulloch (Captain Dodgy), David Brown (Mr Big Fish), Jamie Marshall (Shuggie McScott), John Edgar (Jock McScott), Katrina Merrilees (Aggie McScott), Leigh Flynn (Mrs. Big Fish), Nicola Tuxworth (Annie McScott), Shiela Wilson (Mrs. McScott), Stephen Verth (George McScott)
Running time: 

'Can We Live With You?' cry the McScott
family, on the run from the menacing Mr. Big Fish and his equally terrifying
wife (David Brown and Leigh Flynn).

Hard up and facing homelessness, Jock
McScott (John Edgar) and his wife (Sheila Wilson) approach Mr. Big Fish in the
hope of getting a cash injection from his new acquisition - a money machine,
ably mimed by members of the cast. Although his offspring put in their own
requests, it doesn't take the canny McScott too long to work out that what's
afoot is a full nine-yard money-laundering scam of which he wishes to have
nane. Unfortunately, twiting a Big Fish in it's own nest, as it were, has
consequences, and the McScotts find themselves on the run and on the lam in
their own neck of the woods.

Despite the plea of the title, not one of their
ain folk want to take them in - they're all too scared of the fall-out falling
on them. However, the friends and neighbours club together to buy them a ticket
to the 'Land of Delightful Things', hopefully far away from the thoughts and
clutches of the Big Fish clan. Unfortunately, the McScotts find themselves,
after a delightful fantasy sequence, firmly back in the clutches of their
potential nemesis, courtesy of the well-named Captain Dodgy (Alastair
MacCulloch). The 'Land of Delightful Things' turns out to be a grim factory
where equally glum workers toil to produce delightful things they'll never enjoy.
The arrival of the McScotts, however, induces a peaceful rebellion which ends
their trials and the play.

It's obviously been great fun for the cast, producing
some worthy performances and cameo spots. Lung Ha's collaboration with Drake
Music Scotland has also clearly worked well, and both incidental music and that
used for the dance sequences is a delight in itself. Although a little
under-rehearsed when seen, the large cast worked hard and efficiently on a
large and (to some, possibly) unfamiliar stage. Although this piece is very
much 'for fun' rather than the polemic of some of Lung Ha's previous work, it's
obviously enjoyed by its large cast, and it's good to see some familiar members
of the company working with enthusiasm.

As this reviewer has previous 'form' in
community theatre, it's in no way condescending to point out that often, some
of the best parts of any community production are never seen by the audience -
the confidence gained, the friendships formed, the simple sense of achievement.
It's these 'soft indicators' which funding bodies never consider but are the
very reason for any community endeavour. In our straitened, target-obsessed
times, it's heartening to find the spirit still flourishing.

Published on 2008

Copyright Bill Dunlop 2008