A Play, a Pie and a Pint season has kicked off at the Royal Exchange with Katie Douglas’ play Dig. The concept is a simple yet effective one; three new 45 minute plays presents every week along with some liquid refreshment and a tasty pie while you watch. Billed as a Glasgow Institution this Paines Plough with Oran Mor production is a welcome addition to the Autumn Season.

Dig is the story of unemployed skilled worker Tommy (Stewart Porter) and his wife Brenda (Louise Ludgate) struggling to make ends meet in recession hit Glasgow who are visited on day by Tommy’s brother, Dean (Simon MacAllum) whose visit forces them to assess the reality of their situation and what it means to be a family. 

With some great dry humour interlaced with real poignant torment, Dig is not presenting anything revolutionary or telling a story many will not be familiar with but demonstrates real dramaturgy, with all the action taking place in one room and with only a cake, an armchair and some beer to set the scene. Charged with emotion, the dialogue whips by at breakneck speed moving from quick witted one-liners to soul searching weeping, that is so powerful that it is at times hard to watch. 

Although the material is not ground breaking this production is a pleasant way to spend 45 minutes and is on at a great time to allow those on a lunch break or on the way home from work to call in, have a drink and a snack and enjoy a good play. 

A Play, a pie and a pint is a strong concept that will hopefully become a regular feature in the Royal Exchange’s calendar. 

- Ruth Lovett