Preen Back Yer Lugs!

The year is 2108, World War Seven has just ended and in this post-apocalyptic world only Scotland survives, governed by a supreme leader: a man obsessed with wind turbines, a man who bears an unnerving resemblance to a certain 21st century Scottish First Minister. England is a wasteland, its beleaguered population making the trek northwards to the border. The English are set to be Scotland's biggest ethnic minority but are they to be welcomed with open arms? What happens when the oppressed minority rise up and fight back?

This work takes its story line from the successful Finnish play 'Swedish Uprising', Paul F. Matthews has relocated it to Scotland and tackles the thorny and topical issue of independence and the effect that nationalism can have when, for a change, you hold all the cards.

It exploits every stereotype in the book of both the Scots and the English and each is treated to a roasting in turn. A word of warning though - there are Scottish in-jokes a-plenty and whilst most are identifiable there are more than a few that require local knowledge to appreciate fully. Each scene is delivered with energy - sometimes a little more than is required - but the satire hits the mark and it delivers plenty of laughs. Sarah McCardie and Billy Mack in particular deliver well-judged performances that resist the urge to resort to the grotesque and Tom Freeman's hysterical portrayal of the Great Chieftain of Scotia is worryingly familiar to the Scottish members of the audience. A major gripe with the piece though is the length, at 80 minutes it could easily be trimmed to the hour mark and lose none of its impact.

Broadly it explores how the oppressed can become the oppressor and how absolute power can corrupt absolutely but if it was hoping to make a valuable contribution to the Independence debate then maybe having the First Minister of Scotland cloned with Culicoides impunctatus (look it up) maybe isn't the way to go.

Reviews by Lauren Humphreys

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The Blurb

In a future Scotland, ruled by an evil clone of a famous 20th-century Scottish politician, a small band of English freedom fighters rise up against their Caledonian oppressors.