In­dyref show to hit the town hall

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Jonathan Ged­des

Dis­cus­sion on Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence can still cause tem­pers to flare.

But for co­me­dian and writer Phil Dif­fer it’s also pro­vided plenty of ma­te­rial for his new­est show - and he hopes that folk will find it funny which­ever side of the ar­gu­ment they’re on.

He’s bring­ing Macbrave­heart to Ruther­glen Town Hall on Fri­day Oc­to­ber 30, spoof­ing Shake­speare, the ref­er­en­dum de­bate and a cer­tain Mel Gib­son film along the way.

Orig­i­nally writ­ten ahead of last year’s vote, the play has been up­dated and ex­tended to take into ac­count the ref­er­en­dum re­sult.

The plot weaves to­gether Robert Burns, Robert the Bruce and Wil­liam Wal­lace in a de­lib­er­ately daft spoof that also sends up just how se­ri­ous some peo­ple take the theatre.

“We look at send­ing up the se­ri­ous­ness of it all,” says Phil, who’s best known for be­ing the brains be­hind Only An Ex­cuse.

“We used to joke about how this was a very im­por­tant play, which is that the­atri­cal thing where peo­ple are al­ways stress­ing how im­por­tant it is to get a mes­sage out through their show. The only thing we were se­ri­ous about was mak­ing fun of those at­ti­tudes.

“Last year at the Ed­in­burgh Fes­ti­val ( where the play was first per­formed) there was an aw­ful lot of plays that were pro-in­de­pen­dence, and there were a few that were an­ti­in­de­pen­dence, so we sold our­selves as the play that couldn’t make up its mind and that we were for the peo­ple that didn’t know.

“There’s no mes­sage and it’s all over the place - we don’t want to preach to peo­ple.”

Phil clearly hopes that both sides of the ar­gu­ment will be en­ter­tained by the show, which stars co­me­dian Bruce Mor­ton, Claire Gray and Matthew Gal­lagher. He’s look­ing for­ward to see­ing how the Town Hall crowd re­acts, hav­ing per­formed there a few years ago.

“I did some stand up in the Town Hall a few years ago, and I like Ruther­glen. It’s still got an iden­tity to it and an in­de­pen­dence to it - it’s not been en­gulfed by Glas­gow or La­nark­shire.

“It was a good night a few years ago, there was a good crowd that was in­tel­li­gent and that al­ways means you get more out of it. There were right up for it and hope­fully it’ll be the same in a cou­ple of weeks.”

Af­ter the show wraps up its cur­rent tour Phil will be back on his football du­ties, with the latest Only An Ex­cuse spe­cial un­der­way.

“I’ve just started work­ing on Only An Ex­cuse for Hog­manay. We’ll film it some­time in Novem­ber and then I’ll have a wee break.

“For this year, the ob­vi­ous new one to bring into the show is Mark War­bur­ton - we in­tro­duced Ronny Delia last year and now War­bur­ton’s ap­peared, so we need to do him.”

Tick­ets for Macbrave­heart are on sale now, priced at £ 12 or £ 10 for con­ces­sions.

They can be bought in per­son from the Town Hall, by call­ing 0141 613 5700 or online at www.sll­cbox­of­fice.

The show starts at 7.30pm and it does con­tain lan­guage that may of­fend.

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