Performers

Irvine Welsh and Dean Cavanagh

Performers Ltd

Assembly Rooms

From 03 August 2017 to 27 August 2017

Rating: *

Review by Philip Fisher

Nobody can fault the pedigree of the writing team behind this new play, nor the underlying idea.

A stylish set represents the office of the production team for cult 1960s movie Performance, which starred James Fox and Mick Jagger and has recently been released on Blu-Ray.

At the point where we enter proceedings, a voiceover states that casting is in progress and the intention is to recruit real gangsters rather than professional actors. Indeed, John Bindon, who is referenced, used the film as a stepping stone from a life crime to movie hardman.

Waiting for their 15 seconds of fame are a couple of clichéd hoods, Alf and Bert. They already feel at home since Alf’s niece Florence works in the office. She also has a connection with Bert, though that had best remain a secret, otherwise the 16-year-old’s dad may want to shoot off his kneecaps.

When the director’s camp runner Crispin arrives, he brings in the comic twist. Unfortunately, it isn’t very funny, leaving an hour in which a couple of unlikely fellows wait for someone who never arrives. Beckett did it far better.