Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut (5 stars)

This article is from 2011

Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut

Morag Fullerton's stage adaptation is a charmingly chaotic classic

It’s almost impossible to tell that the team behind Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut have not staged their increasingly lauded production in the Tron before tonight.

Originating as part of Òran Mór’s Cult Classics series during its pint/pie-filled daytime hours, writer Morag Fullerton took a film rather than a play as her inspiration – and with cracking results.

Part homage, part all-out spoof, Emmy-nominated Fullerton has stayed true to the original narrative. We are in the deserts of Casablanca in 1941; the Nazi takeover of Europe is well underway. American Rick (Gavin Mitchell in the Humphrey Bogart role) runs a café bar welcoming any and every lost soul, from petty criminals to refugees looking for safe passage — the latter, in this case, Rick’s ex-love Ilsa (Clare Waugh as Ingrid Bergman) and her husband, resistance leader Victor Laszlo (played here by Jimmy Chisholm).

The three-person cast play several characters each, the chaotic costume changes only serving to heighten the fun. Making great use of the multi-purpose set, the actors add physical or verbal comic flourishes to make the piece just different enough from its muse, while keeping the moral heart of the story intact. All the classic lines are delivered with aplomb, Mitchell’s Bogey impersonation being especially disarmingly accurate.

At only one hour, this is a bite-sized look at how wonderful individual theatre shows can be done on a shoestring. Casablanca is now on its way to the Fringe and not to be missed.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 23 Jul.

Casablanca: The Gin Joint Cut

Of all the theatres in all the world … Morag Fullarton's three-hander contains some of the most iconic scenes and lines ever written.