Skip to content


Wee Andy
Published on Thursday, 17 May 2012

5 stars

The Nightingale (venue website)
16-20 May, 8:30pm-9:25pm
Reviewed by Naomi Dixon

 Suitable for age 15+ only.
 Warning: Contains strong language.

For five nights only, the Glasgow-based company Tumult In The Clouds brings to the Brighton Fringe two plays written and directed by Paddy Cunneen. Winners of the Brighton Fringe Award for Emerging Talent in 2011, they have once again proven their worth with this astounding production of Wee Andy.

Set in Glasgow, the play focuses on the devastation caused by gang violence, and in particular ‘knife culture’. Moving, savage and intensely political, the script calls into question the reasons behind such violence and the affects it has on those connected with it.

The play itself is likened to a Greek tragedy, fast paced and lyrical. Sparsely staged and using few props or effects, much of the violence is left to the audience’s imagination, making it all the more powerful and at times painful. The dialogue, which is written in iambic pentameter, lends itself beautifully to the rich and poetic Scottish accent, and the sorrow and rage expressed by the characters becomes ever more poignant.

While the whole cast shines in this dazzling performance, it is Steven McNicoll as the embittered and tired surgeon who carries the play along. Pauline Knowles, playing the grief-stricken mother, delivers an equally powerful performance, consumed by her anguish and rage at her innocent son’s fate.

Wee Andy is a vital play that tells the story of the tempestuous times in which we live. Dealing with topics that are as disturbing as they are real, Paddy Cunneen’s masterpiece should not be missed.

<< Standards and Screwed   Stay At Home Dad >>


These are archived reviews of shows from Brighton 2012.  We keep our archives online as a courtesy to performers, and for readers who'd like to research previous years' reviews.