Falkirk. Or tae be mair exact, Fawkirk.
This is a sheer classic, and is both theatre and comedy, making a welcome return 8 years after its first appearance at the Fringe in 2010. And it's still fast, fresh and very funny.
The language is explicit lowland Scots, Fawkirk variety, and Bisset plays Moira Bell, a Falkirk cleaner, who is mouthy, opinionated and gloriously forthright. He also effortlessly inhabits memorable supporting characters, a Rottweiler to a night-club bouncer, with astonishing panache.
Many faces of Moira from @MoiraMonologues - Alan Bissett at his best / an amazing show - brilliant acting/ it’s a play and a stand up in one. Some one liners - you’ll be quoting them for years, just like Shakespeare’s. @ScotStoryCentre at 6.30. #MoreMoiraMonologues at 8pm pic.twitter.com/YYh6QW3Z0D
— Roza Nazipova (@nazipova) August 2, 2018
Moira's life, loves and troubles are outlined in a number of short, beautifully crafted episodes which, while comic and hugely amusing, are also elegiac and poignant. The pain and humiliation of being dumped over a fish supper, the existential despair as yet another Scotland football game ends in disappointment are a hard, and dark backdrop to hugely funny and tightly scripted comic monologue. The grind and pain of working class life is laid bare even as the audience guffaws and explodes with laughter.
Bisset plays Moira 'straight' with a male voice, but captures all the expressions and body language of Moira with ease - he inhabits the character both very easily and highly credibly.
This is a rare beast - a very very funny show, but one that has resonance and dark shadows that linger long after the laughter has faded away. Bisset draws Moira as a startlingly credible character, and the economy and pithy wit of his language soars. There are one-liners and put-downs that might have those with a weak bladder embarrassed by the end of the performance.
I highly recommend catching the sequel, More Moira Monologues, which starts just half an hour after this performance ends at 8pm, because Moira Bell is someone you certainly don't not want to get on the wrong side of, but someone you definitely want to hear more from.
Go to see this, and do see the sequel. You will absolutely love meeting Moira Bell.
★★★★★ 5 stars
Photo credit: Roza Nazipova