Argentinian stage adaptation like a Scottish Mrs Brown
Lyric Theatre, Belfast
THE National Theatre of Scotland's production of Yer Granny, an adaptation of the Argentinian play La Nona, is not one for the faint hearted or easily offended – though there is plenty to be offended by in the play even if you are open to theatrical vulgarity.
The audience at the opening night at the Lyric's run of Yer Granny greatly enjoyed the performance and gave it a standing ovation after laughing loudly for the entire production.
The premise is that the granny can't stop eating and is causing her clan to go bankrupt. Her grandson Cammy owned a chip shop but she ate all the food and he then had to start working in a burger van. Living under the one roof are Granny, Cammy, Cammy's wife Marie, their daughter Marissa, Granny's daughter Aunt Angela and Cammy's brother Charlie.
At times the joke was simply Gregor Fisher – best known as Rab C Nesbitt from the Scottish comedy series of that name – wearing a dress and playing the eponymous character. But as the play continued the jokes became more nuanced and less slapstick.
The biggest laugh seemed to come from Granny struggling to climb a step ladder to get some biscuits that were behind a clock. Perhaps there was a metaphor for obesity and time that really tickled the audience or perhaps it was just watching a man in a dress try not to fall over.
The first act of the play was very much like a light version of Mrs Brown's Boys but the second act took a dark and gruesome turn.
The introduction of Donny Francisco, played by Brian Pettifer, sees the play become much cruder and more explicit in its bawdiness. But it is his relationship with Marissa that is particularly uncomfortable to watch.
The set, sound and costumes were all fantastically 1970s and technically the play was superb. If you imagine a Scottish Mrs Brown in a farcical South American tale about the working class then you've got Yer Granny. If that sounds like your cup of tea then get to the Lyric this week.