Sailing into the New Vic Theatre until the Saturday 2nd June is a cargo ship full with thousands of bottles of Whiskey, which is a stroke of luck for the islanders who have been without their favourite drink for an unbearable two weeks!
It’s the remarkable true story of the SS Politician, shipwrecked in 1941 in the Outer Hebrides that inspired 1947 the novel by Compton Mackenzie and two years later the film adaption of the same name.
Adapted by Philip Goulding, this production is also inspired by the Osiris Players, a group of professional women who toured the country with their productions from 1927. In Goulding’s version, the all female cast perform “a show within a show” as the Osiris Players presenting “Whiskey Galore”!
Still with me? Good. Because this show is all about the detail.
7 dynamic and versatile actors play as many as 5 characters each in an acting masterclass of the highest level. Never at any point does the cast switch off, making room for some tremendously funny moments.
Dying of thirst and with their world upside down, the locals set about rescuing as much of the shipwreck’s stock as possible – whilst keeping it from the relevant authorities. There’s love and marriage, an awful mother in law, a universally disliked Army Captain, Inspectors, bar tenders, secrets and spies all rolled into a thoroughly entertaining two hours.
All the action plays out on a very clever moving set, that splits into four individual pieces. Each has it’s own cleverly designed compartments and fit together perfectly – working in a range of formats. The set also looks outstanding, very well designed by Patrick Connellan.
Much of what is enjoyable about the show is what is created above and beyond the script. Kevin Shaw, Director, has managed to create so many enjoyable moments and has captured the comedy out of every opportunity.
Particular highlights are Shuna Snow and Christine Mackie’s impressive performances as the lead male characters, Isabel Ford’s hilarious missed handshake (and general comical characterisation throughout) as Paul Waggett, different actors playing the same characters at different times and a brilliant dog cameo to name but a few.
The script itself is a little heavy and isn’t the easiest to follow at times, but the remarkable craftsmanship of these actors makes it a thoroughly entertaining show overall.
Tickets for Whisky Galore are priced from £14.50 to £24.00 (concessions available) and can be booked online at www.newvictheatre.org.uk or by calling the New Vic Box Office on 01782 717962.