Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut

Romantic comedy

Article by Gareth K Vile | 01 Aug 2011
  • Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut

Casablanca, The Gin Joint Cut is a distinctively Glaswegian production. Originally staged as a lunch time special at the Òran Mór, it plays on the familiarity of both the actors and plot, running fast and loose with characters, conventions of stage and screen and slapstick humour. Part play within a play – Gavin Mitchell, Clare Waugh and Jimmy Chisholm act themselves acting a cast of thousands – and part comedy critique of the great movie, it manages to keep the original's political romance while enjoying a subplot that allows in-jokes and a tap dance finale.

Using the familiar territory as a springboard for good humoured wit, wry comments on the actor's trade and the chemistry between the three performers, this Casablanca bounces at a ferocious speed, pausing only to allow Mitchell, Waugh and Chisholm to swap roles or add commentary to the action.

Warm-hearted and intelligent, it is a superior adult pantomime that plays to the strength of the cast. Peter Lorre, Bogart and Bergman are caricatured, the gape between the smoke filled past and smoke free present is hilarious. If the initial set-up, which tries to explain why the three actors have ended up in a tawdry remake, drags, it allows them to suggest future Gin Joint Productions. Although it relies heavily on the skill of the comic trinity, Casablanca might have that perfect Fringe combination of passion, pace and belly laughs.

3-29 Aug, 4:30pm, Pleasance Courtyard, Pleasance One, £11 (£9.50)