Mrs Puntila and her man Matti

I have so been looking forward to seeing this 80 year old play written by Bertolt Brecht, and starring Elaine C Smith as Mrs Puntila, and Steven McNicoll as her chauffeur.

Changing the gender of Puntila in this production definitely showcased Elaine’s talents as a comedian, actress and not a bad singer!!!  I have to admit that I haven’t seen Steven perform before but I did enjoy his comedy and his delivery of the more serious lines.

Elaine plays a business women who loves her wealth and the power it has over people.  She likes a drink and her character changes when she has had a few!!  She is generous and kind when she partakes of some alcohol but reverts back to a cold and calculating business woman when she is sober.  She just can’t stop herself interfering with her daughter’s engagement plans – after all she is providing the money for this advantageous wedding!  Steven plays her loyal chauffeur and tries to curtail the damage she does when drunk and keep her out of trouble.  The play has extremely funny moments but also serious ones

This is a story about the power of wealth over people and touched on current economic and political society today.  It also illuminates the culture of alcohol and how it can affect our behaviour.

Loved the stage set and the part of the performance that I really liked was that the supporting cast were part of the ongoing drama and created new stage settings with their own performances.   I particularly enjoyed the verses that set each scene

My mind did drift occasionally in the first half and in the closing scenes.  Maybe it could benefit from a tighter delivery?

Written by Bertold Brecht and adapted by Denise Mina

Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh until 21st March 2020


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