Tag Archives: Angela Darcy

REVIEW: Mack the Knife – Oran Mor, Glasgow

The creation of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s “play with music” The Threepenny Opera is as dramatic as the ground-breaking work itself. In Morag Fullerton’s hands that story becomes Mack The Knife, an Oran Mor mini musical.


The journey to stage success was rough, actors walking out in droves, a title changing weekly and a producer desirous of a quick summer season money-spinner. It isn’t until the last-minute addition of a signature tune for amoral antihero Macheath, that finally, it all falls into place. Suffused with the same wit as Fullerton’s previous adaptations of stage/screen classics Casablanca and Sunset Boulevard, it has laughter and tears, humour and pathos in spades.


The quartet of supremely talented actors, double, triple and quadruple parts and provide the musical accompaniment. The only quibble being Angela Darcy’s less than era-authentic vocals, whilst strong and clear, are a tad too cruise ship for 1920’s Berlin.

For all the humour, Fullerton reminds us of the ultimate fate of the participants. While many manage to escape the Nazi gas chambers, Kurt Gerron, actor, singer, director and original Macheath, isn’t so lucky, coerced into directing a Nazi propaganda film, when he outlives his usefulness his captors transport him to the ultimate death camp, forced to sing his signature song as he is marched to his death at Auschwitz.

Like so many of Fullarton’s works, one can only hope it has a life long after its week at Oran Mor.

Images: Leslie Black

REVIEW: Janis Joplin Full Tilt – Tron Theatre, Glasgow

This post was originally written for and published by www.thepublicreviews.com

Starting life as part of Oran Mor’s lunchtime theatre programme and travelling via this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Janis Joplin: Full Tilt returns to the city after almost universal acclaim from both audience and critics alike.

Peter Arnott’s trimmed back biography of Joplin (an hour in length) gets right to the heart and soul of the artist and whilst concise, still provides the requisite fine detail to deliver an utterly gripping insight into the demons that plagued the singer from childhood and stayed with her even at the height of her fame. Never quite fitting in, Joplin the self-proclaimed: ‘flaky, ugly chick’ teetered uncomfortably between uncompromisingly standing up for what she believed in and trying to mould herself into someone that people would want to be with (consumed by hang ups about her looks and her inability to find love, she never quite managed to become what she wanted to be: ‘just Janice’).

Central to the success of the piece is Angela Darcy’s emotive performance as Joplin, convincingly portraying the singer’s physical mannerisms as well as her unique vocals; she manages to perfectly capture this woman who lived a thousand lifetimes in her 27 years.

The story and the staging are firmly focussed on Joplin and those looking for behind the scenes revelations about Joplin’s infamous friends may be disappointed, but this musical play enhanced by a knock-out live band is everything an audience could want from an evening in the theatre: raw, rousing and always real, just like Joplin herself.