“It’s LUNCHtime theatre and you write LUNCHquest” – my friend Eleanor had a fair point. Graciously, they agreed to grant me another press ticket to visit for their Saturday peformance, so I promptly attended, earlier today.
The first items of business were the pie and pint. From a selection of scotch, scotch broth, haggis, veggie haggis or macaroni, I opted for the scotch broth, as it seemed the fitting choice. It was a wonderfully peppery delight, with a delicate pastry casing wrapping up a profusely tasty filling. It’s always a joy to find a proper pie made with care and attention.
For the pint, I chose Traverse ale from Stewart’s. It’s an old favourite, which they used to use to make the batter for their fish, back in the day.The play continued the food theme in its title, Broth, and the setting was a kitchen scene, which I walked across to get to my seat on the far side of Traverse 2.
Things started on a decidedly unsavoury note, with the bloodied “corpse” of monstrous Jimmy, the loose-fisted tyrant who’d dominated three generations of his family’s women, wife Mary, daughter Sheena and grand-daughter Ally, lying face-down on the kitchen table.
As the stock-pot “boiled the shite out of a poor wee chook”, things reached a rolling simmer as the women came to terms with the action that Mary had taken, after the last straw had broken the camel’s back after years of coping with Jimmy’s reign of terror.From my soupy standpoint, I was with her all the way as the last straw seemed to revolve around Jimmy’s assertion that baked beans were in some way preferable to soup. I’d have beaten Mary to the kettle cudgel if that had been said in my earshot.
Performances were uniformly outstanding, with a real sense of tension and menace evoked by Ron Donachie’s Jimmy, which was beautifully undercut with some particularly fine use of the vernacular from Kay Gallie’s Mary, Molly Innes’ Sheena, and Kirsty MacKay’s Ally.
Writer Tim Primrose has fashioned a very engaging piece, which at just under an hour is a beautifully judged lunchtime morsel. I’d recommend trying to catch it on its next run.
In another dose of my buffoonery, this is a review of what was the last performance of the season, but A Play, a Pie and a Pint is an enduring favourite, so it won’t be long before information on the next programme will be available. Keep an eye on the Traverse’s website for details. A big thanks to all at the Traverse, particularly for putting up with my calendar incompetence.