I, Tommy

****

Like him or loathe him, Tommy Sheridan with his ego, impassioned fist clenching sound bites and fake tan complexion, has been good TV and newspaper copy for more than two decades. Ian Pattison, writer of the Rab C Nesbitt TV series, takes a satirical view of the life and times of the gallus Tommy, starting from his arrival on the political scene campaigning against the imposition of Thatcher’s poll tax in Scotland in the 1980’s.

Des McLean as Tommy not only looks and sounds like him but also conveys his charisma, impassioned rhetoric and narcissism. Tommy also has had his liking for the ladies and his alleged sexual exploits in various locations are given the full humorous treatment, particularly in the trial scenes. Ian Pattison’s banter type script is handled well by the supporting cast who take on various roles including Gail Sheridan, Tommy’s wife, and Alan McCombes, Tommy’s former colleague in the Scottish Socialist Party.

With the Leveson inquiry in progress and the trials of major figures in the tabloid newspaper industry in the offing, who knows how Tommy’s future will pan out? Could it be more Celebrity Big Brother type appearances or can a return to the Scottish Parliament be fully ruled out? Maybe, scope for I Tommy, the sequel?

Reviewed by Ben

Gilded Balloon Teviot: 14

3 to 27 August 2012 (not 13)

15.15 – 16.45

Fringe Programme Page Number: 288

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