The Loch Parry players have had a disaster: it is 24 hours until opening night and their lead of their upcoming musical extravaganza - The Wickerman - has disappeared. Luckily Finlay, the leader of the players, has sent to the metropolitan paradise of Glasgow and managed to nab a real life TV actor- Rory - from the famous Scottish cop show Bloodbeat to take his place. Of course everything is not as it seems.
Playing out as a loving spoof of the classic 1973 film, even more so than the ridiculous American remake, Appointment With The Wickerman by Greg Hempdill and Donald MacLeary is a tongue in cheek romp through Scottish island eccentricities - and believe me this show could not be more Scottish if it was covered with tartan bodypaint and paraded around Murrayfield singing Flower of Scotland with only a sporran to cover its manhood.
There is some excellent comic acting on display here. Hempdill - not happy with simply writing the play - looms as Finlay (who plays Lord Summerisle in Loch Parry’s production) and manages to play with expectations created by Christopher Lee’s consummate performance. Johnny McKnight also shines as the camper than camp director Callum, who embodies the am-dram satire with gusto. The writing is also intelligent, blending elements of the original story seamlessly into that of the Parry Players; this leads to a blazing experience for fans of the original and a blisteringly quick one for those who aren’t.
Ironically, however, Appointment With The Wickerman has the same issues as the Loch Parry players’ production. The show tries so hard to push its comedy angle that a lot of the fun in the show is forgotten in favour of sex jokes and cheap laughs. In fact, the ending of the show is so farcical and filled with big reveals that it ends up dragging, very different to the original that settled with one and sealed it with fire.
Appointment With The Wickerman is a sizzling show and encompances the humour of the original in a very different way. It is just a shame that it ends as an ember and not an inferno.