I had the absolute pleasure on Wednesday night of experiencing the National Theatre of Scotland’s ‘An Appointment with the Wicker Man’ at Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre.
The brain child of Greg Hemphill and Donald McLeary of ‘Still Game’ and ‘Chewin the fat’ fame, this tongue in cheek tribute to the 1974 cult classic delivered a fantastic two hours of fabulous fun and frivolity.
When a hapless bunch of amateur actors on a remote Scottish island decide to stage an adaption of ‘The Wicker Man’, they are determined to put “bums on seats” at their run down theatre after a succession of flops.
And when Roger Morrison, who’s due to play the virgin policeman, mysteriously disappears, The Loch Parry Players’ “illustrious” leader Finlay Fothergill (played by Hemphill himself) calls in the help of TV cop from Glasgow Rory.
Rory (Sean Biggerstaff) finds the eclectic bunch of wannabe actors somewhat “over enthusiastic” as they randomly burst into Broadway numbers and fumble their way through the film’s iconic scenes.
The girls are soon smitten with the man from the mainland and dippy Marie (Sally Reid) and postmistress Morag (Rosalind Sydney) compete for his affections as Finlay battles it out with camp Director Callum (Johnny McKnight) for creative control.
Rory’s sure things aren’t as they seem and soon descends into a weird world of uncertainly and paranoia. Is he losing the plot? Or are the ‘happy pill’ popping islanders really out to get him? He’s sure the bizarre merging of fantasy and reality are leading to his sacrifice to ensure the “bum harvest.”
‘An Appointment with the Wicker Man,’ like the film itself, keeps audiences guessing right to the very end, with twists certain to shock and delight.
The comedy timing is perfect, songs immaculate and with just enoough clever innuendo and naughtiness to tickle any funny bone.
Marrying a traditional music hall feel with an element of panto, along with Scottish friendly gags, ‘An Appointment with the Wicker Man’ is one not to be missed.
Terrific and ridiculously funny, do yourselves a favour and get yourselves down to HMT before it’s too late.