The Villains, the Vote and the Black, Black Oil

Caught Red-Handed
Sweet Grassmarket

The Villains, the Vote and the Black, Black Oil

With the Scottish Independence Referendum just around the corner, there's been a smaller than expected but notable surge in productions relating to the event, to the politics involved or, as in this case, the history of Scotland's dealing with politicians, with Donald Trump and other events which may or may not have been lessened had the 1979 Scottish devolution referendum been successful.

Putting a show like this together can come across as political sermonising. It's a credit to Caught Red-Handed that they avoid falling down too heavily on either side of the debate, and instead lay a far greater emphasis on encouraging people to vote, citing the downfall of the "Tartan Tories" back in '79, when non-votes automatically were counted as 'no' votes, and pointing to this lack of engagement really being a lack of people taking their own destiny in their hands.

It is, however, not at all a dry, political affair. This is a romp of music and comedy with various modern songs altered to suit the particular stories and a repeated reprise of "The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond" seguing later into a heartfelt rendition of Dougie MacLean's "Caledonia".

If you want to have a few laughs and feel like something that tends towards the referendum, then you could do little better than this charmingly fun romp through Scottish history and recent events.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan

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