It is all here in Owen McCafferty’s latest stylised life of working men’s Belfast.
The banter, the language, the cheeky chappiness, the masterly understanding of the banality of bloke talk. It is a working class farce - a working fass perhaps - that is easy on the brain, if a little difficult on the ear.
With his four plasterer characters, McCafferty is presenting us with the three stages of ambition - dreams, panic that it is all slipping away, and begrudging acceptance that life is never all it is cracked up to be.
And while it is funny, and populated by three dimensional, believable characters, and while Simon Higlett’s set is magnificent - the unfinished shower room representing unfinished lives - there are moments when the contrivance of the plot interferes, or perhaps it is a sudden change in the style of the writing, or when everything feels just a little too long.
Robert Delamere’s direction eases the cast into the naturalistic environment. Another excellent performance from Conleth Hill, bullying and domineering, is fed by James Nesbitt’s sensitive portrayal of his troubled character.
Packy Lee’s young, naive and impressionable Randolph is fuelled by youthful dreaming, while Jim Norton’s Ding-Ding, on his last day before retirement, has almost sunk under the dreariness of his own life.
Shoot the Crow is witty and wise but is flawed by the limitations its fairly simple afterthought of a plot imposes upon it.