Gotcha!

A one-man show scheduled for over an hour and a half can be a daunting prospect for both performer and audience. Yet by the end, it was only the stamina of the performer that was drained as the audience eagerly lapped up his words. ‘Gotcha!’ follows the lives of eight characters in Glasgow, principally the lives of traffic warden Ernie and his soldier grandson. Throughout the play, issues of Scottish society are raised, focusing mainly on booze and the war in Afghanistan but occasionally branching to look at things like the NHS and football sectarianism.

The play proudly advertises itself as being essentially Scottish and initially this filled me with misgivings as I feared whether ‘Scottish culture’ might be interpreted as a few colloquialisms and a couple of accents. Yet it does actually manage to pull this off without relying on a brand of nauseating patriotism; instead the decision to examine several very flawed characters presents an image that is at the same time believable, interesting and not particularly rose-tinted. Some of these characters are not to be sympathised with and the actor’s portrayal very successfully manages to damage the views his characters are spouting rather than seeming to promote them.

The same actor also manages to pull off playing both male and female characters without any sense of farce. When a wig and a handbag are put on or a burka is donned, it seems to be treading the line of being ridiculous, but the monologues that follow are possibly some of the most serious and heart-wrenching of the play.

Costume changes in a one-man show are always going to be a bit awkward and this is no exception, though it is clear much time and effort has been put into making the costumes as quickly changeable as possible. All in all, Gotcha! is a solid show that, though perhaps slightly long considering a slow start, thoroughly managed to capture the imagination of its audience and present often overused topics like Afghanistan and alcohol in a new, refreshing way.

Reviews by James Beagon

Assembly Roxy

The Battle of Frogs and Mice

★★★★★
Assembly Roxy

Penguinpig

★★★★
theSpace on Niddry St

Julius Caesar

★★★
Scottish Storytelling Centre

The Wonderful World of Lapin

★★★
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows

The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-Duck

★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Future Perfect

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

This new one-man play presents Ernie, a prickly Glaswegian traffic warden, and seven other intertwined characters. Tragedy strikes, but Ernie's indomitable Scottish spirit triumphs over adversity with humour and courage. Laugh, cry, and be enriched by this experience!

Most Popular See More

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £45.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets