Ach, Yer Granny; Who Me? One-Peg Winston from Craiglang? Go to China to Perform James Joyce's Ulysses? A 265,000-Word Stream of Consciousness and Acclaimed Classic of Modern Literature?paul Time's Are Tough but Leave the Kids Alone

Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), March 22, 2015 | Go to article overview

Ach, Yer Granny; Who Me? One-Peg Winston from Craiglang? Go to China to Perform James Joyce's Ulysses? A 265,000-Word Stream of Consciousness and Acclaimed Classic of Modern Literature?paul Time's Are Tough but Leave the Kids Alone


Byline: Steve Hendry

Nobody tells Paul Riley to break a leg when he goes on stage.

As Still Game's Winston Ingram, he's only got th e As Still Game's Winston Ingram, he's only got th e one to stand on, the other trussed up behind him one to stand on, the other trussed up behind him to play the pensioner who lost his foot to an 80-a-day smoking habit.

He did it over 21 sold-out nights at the SSE Hydro last year in Still Game's record-breaking sell-out stage return. Although, in a nod to his own advancing years - he's about to turn 45 - he made his one star demand of creators Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill on returnin g Kiernan and Greg Hemphill on returning to Craiglang.

He said: "I did say to them on the first He said: "I did say to them on the first day, 'Look, I'm past my peak. I'm going to need some help.' So they got a great physio and my leg was really fexible physio and my leg was really fexible for as long as I needed it to be.

"It was almost like a trick because "It was almost like a trick because when you see it in the context of the show you think I've had my leg strapped up for hours. But I only had it up for wee scenes and I had a bungee rope so I would just hoo p my leg inside and rest it."

"Outside of Still Game, he's doing utside of Still Game, he's doing okay standing on his own two feet. He's off to China this week with Glasgow's Tron featre's acclaimed Glasgow's Tron featre's acclaimed take on James Joyce's Ulysses, touring four cities and playing the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing. Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing.

The trip came about almost by chance. Paul said: "We did it two years ago at the Edinburgh festival and a delegation from China were over. We weren't on the list but a guy from the delegation saw the poster, came to see it on his day went back to his delegation and his day , went back to his delegation and said, 'You've got to see this.' they did and said, 'You've got to see this.' they did and they said, 'We'll take that.' Of all the things I've ever done, it's crazy.

"It looks amazing and, because it is James "It looks amazing and, because it is James Joyce and one of the greatest literary works of the last century, it ticks all the boxes. I believelast century, it ticks all the boxes. I believe thethe book didn't go on sale in China until 1997 because it was banned and when it did it sold 10,000 copies in one day."

" When Paul gets back, he's literally stepping off the plane and going into rehearsals with the National Theatre of Scotland for their bold. big?name attempt at broad comedy, Yer Granny.

He said: "The flight gets back in at 8.30am on the Monday and the read-through is at 10am. I'll be like a bag of washing. " 10am. I'll be like a bag of washing. "

Set in Scotland in 1977, it tells the story of a Scots-Italian fish and chip shop which has been taken into bankruptcy by the Russo family's diabolical granny.

As the Queen's silver jubilee approaches, the family is determined the Minerva Fish Bar will rise again - but what are they going to do about granny?

It has a cast which is a who's who of Scottish stage and screen including Gregor Fisher - who dons drag to play Granny - Jonathan Watson, Maureen Beattie, Brian Pettifer, Barbara Beattie, Brian Pettifer, Barbara Rafferty and Louise McCarthy.

Although the original play, La Nona by Roberto La Cossa, is Argentina'ss most popular play, Yer Granny - amost popular play, Yer Granny - as adapted by Douglas Maxwell and directed by Graham McLaren - is very Scottish.

Paul said: "One of the things Graham was adamant about was it was called Yer Granny. Not My Granny, My Grandmother but Yer Granny. It is unashamedly Scottish.

"Everybody in it is brilliant and the master stroke is getting Gregor to play Granny. It is proper funny, all the more so when you add the 1970s wigs, kipper ties and all the clobber. …

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Ach, Yer Granny; Who Me? One-Peg Winston from Craiglang? Go to China to Perform James Joyce's Ulysses? A 265,000-Word Stream of Consciousness and Acclaimed Classic of Modern Literature?paul Time's Are Tough but Leave the Kids Alone
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