There are worse places to be snowed in on Christmas Eve than a cosy pub in the country. But it’s an entirely different matter when the place of refuge is the Dander Inn, a run-down shebeen high in the Sperrin Mountains, whose proprietors are a pair of creepy, ageing twins Pat and Paddy. An unlikely collection of lost souls find their way to this god-forsaken place: a young engaged couple, the male members of an Abba tribute band and a smart middle-aged woman called Alison, a supplier of Catholic religious goods.
As Pat/Paddy and musician Frank, Conor Grimes and Alan McKee respectively do what they do best, summoning a gallery of grotesque characters and surreal imaginary scenarios, then switching effortlessly between them. Frankie McCafferty keeps a tight rein on the broad comedy, steering the hapless victims into a gradual acceptance of what passes for normality.
Gary Crossan expends boundless energy as upper crust twit Rudy, though dramatic credibility is tested in his relationship with sensible nurse Ciara (Ruby Campbell). Ali White joyously throws convention to the winds as Alison, a role that does not exactly stretch her considerable acting skills. A dark, queasy plot twist rounds off this minutely observed Christmas comedy that has its creators’ fingerprints stamped all over it.