A Panto, A Pie and A Pint
Stagecraft: Book: Performance:
Happy July everybody. It’s panto-time in Glasgow and PUNoccio, written by Gary McNair, is a cracker full of topical gags, word play and bouncy songs. Hingmy Cricket (Kirstin McLean) sets the scene and tone with a cheeky wee poem, rhyming Oran Mor’s pie alternative quiche, with keech. In a workshop surrounded by her puppets, mistress-carver, Jan Petal (Dave Anderson) longs for a son to end her loneliness. Her wish for a wean is heard by a scary, Fairy Odd Mother (Darren Brownlie glittering like a disco mirror ball). A high-kick later and PUNoccio (a bubbly Francis Thorburn) is no longer a tethered marionette but a walking, talking puppet free to PUNish everyone with an irritating string of double meanings. Well with a name like PUNoccio he wood, woodn’t he?
As in the Disney tale, which for copyright reasons we are frequently assured this isn’t, a naive PUNoccio encounters (hiss-boo) villains. These political sounding scoundrels, Trumpoli, Bear-is Johnson and the sleekit cat, Faragio are all thwarted as PUNoccio becomes a real boy… and farts. As tradition demands, all ends happily with an audience split in two, contesting which side sang the closing song best. This lively, clever comedy, as bright as PUNoccio’s primary coloured costume, continues at Oran Mor throughout July. Oh yes it does!
Reviewer : David G Moffat