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Mark Fisher
Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Follow me on Twitter at MarkFFisher, WriteAboutTheat and LimelightXTC I am a freelance journalist and critic specialising in theatre and the arts. Publications I write for include the Guardian and the Scotsman. I am the author of The Edinburgh Fringe Survival Guide: how to make your show a success and How to Write About Theatre: A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers. I am also editor of The XTC Bumper Book of Fun for Boys and Girls: A Limelight Anthology. From 2000-2003, I was the editor of The List magazine, Glasgow and Edinburgh's arts and events guide.
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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Little Johnny's Big Gay Wedding, theatre review

Published in The Guardian

Little Johnny's Big Gay Wedding

Langside Hall, Glasgow
4 out of 5

For a recap of the story of modern theatre, check out this daft and delightful mock wedding reception by Random Accomplice and the National Theatre of Scotland. It is a whirlpool collision of performance art, site-specific theatre, pantomime, camp, Broadway musical, sentimental drama, standup comedy and first-person confessional. There's even a line from Shakespeare.

As with any mongrel, it is not perfect, but its imperfections are part of its bold and original charm. Fans of writer and performer Johnny McKnight have followed him through Little Johnny's Big Gay Adventure and his Big Gay Musical. Now it is time for the wedding and, although Mr Right has not shown up, it is a great opportunity for McKnight to fill us in on his extended Ayrshire family as we sit around tables laden with toffee bon-bons and cola cubes.

The joke is that we are part of the family and get drawn into his tales of feuds, romances and misfortunes, according to what it says on our name tags. I get to be David, a drug dealer. It's raucous stuff, delivered at breakneck speed by McKnight, looking fetching in a white dress and handsome in a kilt, and holding the room with the charisma of a skilled MC.

From behind the stories of mental illness, illegitimate children and sibling rivalry – deliciously interrupted by a chorus line of singing waiters – emerges a sweet meditation on the true nature of love. For all his ribald satire, McKnight is a generous observer who paints an affectionate portrait of the bonds holding a community together.

It could be even funnier and still more touching, and the bitchy relationship between McKnight and his "best man" Julie Brown (who also directs) could be better developed, but it is vivid and warm-hearted, and unifies its audience in love and laughter.

Until Saturday. Box office: 0141-552 4267.

© Mark Fisher 2010

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