A likeable, if hardly groundbreaking, hour of Scottish storytelling comes in this lightweight appraisal for our national dish, haggis. Backed by talented musicians Hilary Bell and Jenni Borthwick, our host John Nichol provides plenty of Scottish humour in this animated lecture on the myths of the food.
A nice enough hour to spend looking into one of the most indispensable aspects of our nationality.
The show does feel like a bit of an advert for the family company McSween who have funded the project but this is forgivable because it is just a delightfully enjoyable hour. Most likely the show will be too light for any avid Fringe-goers, but the older audience member will lap up the stories of Robert Burns, the myths of the “real” haggis creature and tales of the McSween factory. It will probably be a must see for any foreign visitors too, as the many queries about the eponymous dish are answered.
Nichol isn’t a great actor (he performs a few characters including Burns) but he’s a gracious, energetic host and his performance keeps the show rolling along at a nice pace. The fine Scottish banter he provides with the audience helps to disguise the rather naff moments of humour within the script.
The real highlight, of course, suitably arrives at the halfway point, as a host of ladies brings the audience samples of the dish. There’s vegetable haggis pakoras and haggis pizzas galore and the wonderful atmosphere created by the whole theatre munching on the food is a pleasant addition to the show. If for some reason you’ve never tasted haggis, this show provides ample opportunity: I love it myself and managed to get seconds. It’s a nice enough hour to spend looking into one of the most indispensable aspects of our nationality.