I, Tommy

Tommy Sheridan cuts a rather sad figure of fun these days. Rejected by the electorate and estranged from the party he founded, his name is now synonymous with Big Brother, perma-tan and allegations about his sex life. But it wasn't always so; he was once a big player on the Scottish political scene.

Des McLean who plays Sheridan, has a striking physical resemblence to him and has the voice off to a tee - close your eyes and it could be Sheridan addressing you from the stage: a fantastic foundation for the production, which it really doesn't take proper advantage of. Ian Pattison's script portrays Sheridan as an oafish fool throughout. This is rather odd as, agree or disagree with Sheridan's politics, he is undoubtedly a intelligent man with an ability to rouse a crowd and was a thorn in the side of governments of both left and right. How Pattison's Sheridan could have risen out his bed of a morning, let alone to the political heights he did, is a mystery.

Direction could be tighter and there is rather a lot of wandering around for no apparent reason. However, there is a strong cast with a lot of energy and potential (with the exception of Colin McCredie's rather stilted narrator). Michelle Gallagher's feisty interpretation of Gail Sheridan deserves particular recognition. Unfortunately this potential is let down by a rather lazy script which too often veers into caricature.

As a standalone piece about a vain politician this is an entertaining enough 90 minutes, with some great one liners, cutting Glasgow put downs and a talented cast. The venue was packed. A Scottish audience will enjoy it. Don't, however, expect to leave with any insight into the real Sheridan's character or the back story to his political ascent, which is a little disappointing given the title of the piece.

Reviews by Gordon Noele

The Assembly Rooms

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★★★
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★★★
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★★★

The Blurb

Fluffy handcuffs, lies and swingers clubs. An imaginative and irreverent reinvention of real life events. Tommy Sheridan was Scotland's most popular politician before being jailed for perjury in 2011. New drama from Ian Pattison and starring Des McLean.