where you get all 3 and a whole lot Oran Mor…
In an ironic twist of fate, Oran Mor and its resident lunchtime theatre company A Play, A Pie and A Pint have become a much-loved cornerstone of the Glasgow theatre scene and of the wider Scottish theatre establishment. Originally founded by legendary Scottish theatre maker David MacLennan with the intention of disrupting the status quo, this maverick theatre company set out to create more opportunities for new writing, to encourage more people to come to the theatre who otherwise wouldn’t and to present theatre in an exciting new way. Well and truly fulfilling that brief, A Play, A Pie and A Pint has been treading the boards since 2004 and next year celebrates its 20th Anniversary.
Throughout it’s 20 year history, as with any organisation it’s gone through various changes in terms of leadership and programming but it’s core concept has always remained constant: A new play every week with a running time of less than an hour, with a pie and a pint included in the ticket price. If you haven’t been before you can expect exactly what it says on the tin.
As with everything at the moment, rising costs are a never-ending challenge for arts organisations and the team are continually striving to keep ticket prices as affordable as possible in order to continue providing accessible entertainment.
When asked what keeps audiences coming back Artistic Director Jemima Levick says “We are very lucky to have a dedicated core audience who have supported us over the years, including the very difficult pandemic period. I think they keep coming back because of the variety of work we present. What’s on one week (a dark thriller), will be very different to what’s on offer the next (perhaps a musical about an allotment community) so if one week isn’t for you then the next one might be. Also, there’s something very accessible about the length of the play (no longer than a Netflix drama) and the fact that you can enjoy a drink and a snack too-it’s an event.”
Despite such a loyal following, the team are always looking to develop their audience and bring in more students and Glasgow locals to experience this lunchtime phenomenon. So, what makes a play a good fit for a lunchtime show?
Jemima says “In terms of the content, really, we can go anywhere. That’s the magic of theatre – you have the ability to transform the small stage and transport the audience to anywhere we like. The one thing I do ask of writers though is to make sure we don’t send people home without any hope or something to really think about. We finish at lunchtime so that’s a lot of day to get through if you leave feeling very depressed by something. We also pick a particular theme for our Spring and Autumn seasons (the current one being ‘Fresh Perspectives’) so we programme with that in mind and try to find plays that fit that theme in some way. That’s particularly important for our regular audiences – so they have an overarching theme to work their way through.”
The Fresh Perspectives schedule for Spring/Summer is packed full of musicals, comedies and contemporary dramas that encourage audiences to perceive the world in fresh and exciting ways.
Here’s a little preview of the shows audiences can look forward to throughout May and June.
Monday 1st May – Saturday 6th May
Davina and Goliath -by Dave Anderson & David Baillie
Davina (not her real name, but she’s real enough) tells the story of a week in her life, about being with demonstrators and inhabitants of the Peace Camp and taking part in a demonstration to block the delivery of equipment at Faslane’s nuclear weapons plant. She talks of camaraderie, humour, the dedication of the Disarming community, COP, the warnings, the reading of the necessary procedures, the charging with law-breaking and the negotiating over her court date to accommodate her planned holidays.
Monday 8th May – Saturday 13th May
Quietus – by Matthew McVarish
A dark comedy exploring when, if ever, it is kinder or right to choose death.Donald in his late forties, on the spectrum and lived with his mother who cared for him until she died. Now, he lives alone and his home has become a fortress of solitude as he slips further into the fear of the outside world. Daniel has been assigned to care for Donald but how do you care for someone who does not want it?
Monday 15th May – Saturday 20th May
Leopards Ate My Face – by Grant O’Rourke
A new comedy about the dangers of letting your paranoia take the wheel.
Derek has a new neighbour moving in next door but he doesn’t like the look of him.
He could be a drug dealer. Maybe’s he got a pet snake. Can a drug dealer have a pet snake?
Monday 22nd May – Saturday 27th May
The Merry Wives of the Wyndford – by Duncan McLaughin
A rip-roaring all-women, all-Glasgow update on Shakespeare’s riotous comedy about respect, trust and love, entirely performed by three actors and a wheelie bin.
In Maryhill, a perennially skint con-man tries out a romantic fraud on two ultra-smart Wyndford wimmin but ends up getting thoroughly bamboozled himself.
Monday 29th May – Saturday 3rd June
The Devil Drinks Cava – by JD Stewart
A comedy-drama exploring who we present ourselves as, who we aspire to be, and the bubbly delicious consequences our actions have on those around us.
Under the rising moonlight in Traquair Maze, aspiring 30 year old ‘DJ Nate-O’ (or Nathan), waits for his extremely ambitious but modest wedding planner girlfriend of ten+ plus years, Annie, so he can finally pop that big ole’ question himself.
However, when Emile arrives searching for his latest wedding hook-up (always the groomsman and never the groom), a series of hidden truths are revealed which lead all three to questions who they want to be, how they want to live, and the legacy they want to leave behind.
Monday 5th June – Saturday 10th June
Meet Me at the Knob – by Johnny McNight
A raucous new musical very, very loosely inspired by the real-life story of the Glasgow’s White Hats.
1920s Broomielaw in Glasgow was ruled by a little-remembered and little spoke about gang called the White Hats. This wasn’t your usual bunch of butch macho razor-boys. The White Hat Boys did it differently. They stole, sold their bodies, bribed government officials and wealthy clients with the threat of turning them in to the police for acts of homosexuality. And they did it whilst in drag. Taking place over one night in a hotel room, The White Hats attempt to bribe a High Court judge but to a murderous and disastrous end.
Monday 12th June – Saturday 17th June
Bloodbank – by Meghan Tyler
A dark comedy delving into power play dynamics, politics, class and the desperation for eternal youth.
Priya and Caris have an arrangement, a somewhat risqué arrangement for a Tory MP and an NHS nurse to have. When picture-perfect, bottom-of-the-barrel Bonnie interrupts this unusual pair, Priya sinks her fangs into a tasty, new opportunity. What will it take for the power dynamics to shift? Who will have blood on their hands?
Full listings can be found on playpiepint.com, tickets start from £14 and showtimes are 1pm Mon – Sat.
Oran Mor, Byres Road, Glasgow, G12 8QX.
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