“Here’s looking at you, kid.” And here’s kidding at you, Casablanca, almost everyone’s favourite movie, and the subject of this deft and funny little (just one hour) spoof show, wonderfully well performed by Gavin Mitchell, Clare Waugh and Jimmy Chisholm.
All three are fine actors. Mitchell has Bogart’s misanthropic bar-tender Rick Blaine down to a tee, and his teeth. Waugh is Bergman on ice and a Nazi officer on fire. Chisholm is uncannily like all three of Peter Lorre, Claude Rains and Paul Heinreid, sharing their hats. No sign of Sydney Greenstreet, though...
The premise is a staging of the movie in Rick’s Café, accurately and atmospherically designed by Kenny Miller, in front of a participatory audience. It’s a send-up, and a love letter. We all join in the song sheet number, the Marseillaise. And we get teary at the end as the plane takes off and smoke billows through the bar.
Sam is a black midget at a toy piano, and he plays it again, and again, as time goes by, and bye-bye. Morag Fullarton’s witty script and direction are spot on. The actors don’t make the mistake of milking too many laughs; we’re already laughing, so they don’t have to. And, for a bonus, they do the sofa dance scene from Singin’ in the Rain; don’t know why, but nobody much minded.