New theatre work from Stef Smith, DC Jackson and Robert Dawson Scott
The autumn season of Oran Mor's A Play, a Pie and a Pint is typically eclectic: a meditation on psychiatrist RD Laing, a new play by rising star Stef Smith and another by DC Jackson, who shocked the Edinburgh Fringe with the audacious Threeway.
A Play, a Pie and a Pint's simple format (a new short play every week in a lunchtime slot) has made it the most dynamic production house in Scotland. Established playwrights (David Ireland, Paddy Cunneen) feature alongside new names, this season including a piece by former critic Robert Dawson Scott. His play The Great Train Race looks at the heyday of steam, with Joyce Falconer in the cast and another rising artist, Rob Jones, directing.
Jones, who previously worked with the National Theatre of Scotland, is excited about the project. 'It's the ultimate in grassroots theatre, with a real connection to its audience,' he says. 'That makes for a very unpretentious environment. As a newcomer, I hope I can live up to the high standards of that audience.'
The audience's loyalty allows artistic director David MacLennan to take risks, and in recent years the Oran Mor has played host to many challenging young artists. There's an echo of MacLennan's past work with political theatre in his determination to present plays in a popular yet serious format. And while Dawson Scott's play is about trains, the PPP season is more like a bus service: if you miss one show, another one will be along soon.
Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 2 Sep–Sat 2 Nov.