3 stars ***
Assembly Rooms (Venue 20)
NEW MEANS of communication always generate new forms of art; and Scotland, at the moment, is lucky enough to boast not one but two leading playwrights who have chosen to become artists of the new social media. There’s David Greig, whose 140-character Yes/No twitter plays lit up last year’s Scottish referendum campaign with a rare surreal brilliance; and there’s the bold and remarkable Iain Heggie, who has dedicated his Facebook page to a series of short, wild, perfectly-crafted observations of Glasgow street-life, a kind of “million tiny plays about Glasgow”, threaded through with an eye for the surreal and unlikely, that places his work somewhere between Flann O’Brien and Still Game, with just a touch of of Little Britain.
So here – in a witty, elegant, but very austerely-presented scrip-in-hand performance by Heggie himself – we have the strange couple who patrol the streets near Heggie’s flat, he always ahead, she always two paces behind; the lady with mobility problems trying to enjoy a biscuit and a milk-shake in a Central Station coffee shop; and Heggie’s constant debate with himself about whether he should intervene, or leave the small-scale human disasters he often observes to evolve untouched. As ever, though, Heggie is a rigorously unsentimental writer, never likely to strive for any kind of easy resolution. The eye he casts over the urban landscape and its people is not cold; but it offers no false comfort, and leaves his stories of strange, eccentric and often unfulfilled lives to speak, quietly but clearly, for themselves.