Oran Mór is the place to see a play, have a pie and a pint. Clare Roberts tells us which plays to look forward to this season.
It’s pumpkin spice latte season, which also means the Autumn season of A Play, A Pie and A Pint (PPP) has begun.
For an hour, Monday to Saturday every week and for the student price of £12.50 (or 2-for-1 on Tuesdays!), you can get to see a new play, whilst enjoying a fresh pint, and a pie. (And since decent cooking is in such short supply in halls kitchens, it provides the perfect excuse to get a home-cooked meal.
Now in its 20th year, PPP has remained successful thanks to its style of keeping it simple. All of their productions are new plays written by established and emerging writers with a focus on Scotland-based creatives.
At the time of print, the season’s first show has just wrapped on The Sheriff of Kalamaki, a comedy written by Douglas Maxwell and directed by Jemima Levick, Artistic Director of PPP. But there are still plenty of pie options and exciting-looking shows from many award-winning creatives to choose from.
Laila Noble is an award-winning director and playwright and the Resident Director for the Autumn Season. She is directing Meetings with The Monk and Castle Fallon. Both plays are comedies with plenty to offer. One is a semi-autobiographical, moving comedy about a man with depression. One is a tragicomedy about heritage and identity in office politics. The two productions are part of an overarching theme that the theatre explores through their shows every season. After the Spring season theme of Fresh Perspectives, this Autumn PPP brings us Tales of Coming Home, a narrative that can be seen distinctly through the stories that they have to offer.
We’re looking forward to seeing The Story Inside in Stay, a new musical by Jonathan O’Neill and Isaac Savage, directed by Melanie Bell. Stay explores love and grief through the story of ex-lovers, set in a local park.
There is an abundance of compelling shows to choose from, many with Glasgow University graduates in the creative team. An Act of Union, a warning of the dangers of militant nationalism, is one of the political offerings of the season. It is written and directed by Glasgow University alumnus Andy McGregor, who has since gone on to compose for The Royal Court Theatre and the National Theatre of Scotland.
Fans of farce will enjoy The Guns of Johnny Diabol, directed by Shilpa T-Hyland, another Glasgow University alumna and a PhD candidate at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This slightly meta play is about actors’ egos and having to play badly written female roles (as an actor myself, I heavily relate).
Local, established playwright Kate Bowen’s play Dysfunction is a comedy about family rivalries and hard truths. Two sisters, both in their sixties and their family are about to be torn apart by a dangerous sibling game. We are looking forward to seeing who – if anyone – wins.
There’s even something for those who are a fan of the spooky and fans of interactive theatre. The characters in Playthrough, written by Kenny Boyle and directed by Ben Harrison, are playing the cursed video game Killswitch, whilst recounting mysterious digital myths.
A Play, A Pie and A Pint also works with other theatre venues in Scotland, such as the Traverse Theatre, and Ayr Gaiety. Dominic Hill, the Artistic Director of the Citizens Theatre is directing Fleg, a dark comedy about patriotism for the union, set in Belfast.
However, nowhere else in Glasgow – and probably all of Scotland – will you get this kind of lunchtime experience. Grab a pie and a pint and catch as many as you before the next season begins.