The prologue sets the scene for the play – it is poorly paced and neither frightening nor funny. Writer John Waterhouse sets a mis-matched group in the Scottish highlands where they encounter mysterious goings-on – with intended hilarious results that never actually materialise.
The comic structure of the play develops only fitfully and the slim plot doesn’t really get going until the second act. The play becomes, therefore, a loose series of incidents so any humour has to be drawn from the dialogue – which is far from memorable.
The actors struggle with the paucity of wit and characters straight out of central casting. Playing older than their age, Mari Macfarlane and Garry Graham adopt exaggerated mannerisms that do not convince or amuse. Paul Green’s wisecracking hotelier would be an irritant in a stronger play but here is almost a comic highlight. Only Darren Connolly shows any flair for comedy.
Scott Berry directs at a crawl and clumsily squanders opportunities to generate occasional visual humour. No effort is made to convincingly develop the horror aspects of the play.
A Very Scottish Play is more Scooby Doo than Scream.
- Dave Cunningham