Born on stage at the 1997 Edinburgh Fringe before becoming a TV hit, Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill’s sitcom about old boys Jack and Victor living out their lives in a high rise in Craiglang returns to the stage for its final fling.
This third stage show at the 9,000 seat Hydro, after hits in 2014 and 2017, follows on from the TV finale in which the cast faded to nothing. They are dead, it would appear, and waiting in the limbo of Boabby’s bar for him to die so they can all pass over.
Before the audience can pass over to the comedy, however, they too must pass through the limbo of a full half hour of Kiernan and Hemphill as Jack and Victor, giving it some in-front-of-the-curtain patter. Neither big nor clever, this is writing that has run out of steam.
Gavin Mitchell’s Boabby steps it up a gear and gives the regular cast a chance to spread their wings as he miss-reminisces about his old pals before passing himself in the most outrageous manner possible.
The second act is where this is at. Outrageous doesn’t begin to describe it as Paul Riley’s Winston and Mark Cox’s Tam descend into hell, have a ghost moment and join the rest up in heaven.
Is it too soon to have Jimmy Savile as a character in a comedy? Acceptable for God to love her “Boabby” and conjure an oversized penis to spurt glitter into the audience? Who cares: while not everything works, the resolutions are well done, the big musical theatre numbers mostly strong and it allows Still Game to go out with a bang.