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We're Going Down the Pub 

Wednesday, Jul 31 2002
This "play" at the Edinburgh Castle is really a variety show of skits about people who go to pubs a lot like the Edinburgh Castle. Full disclosure: I am one of those people. I did time in Boston as a regular of an Irish pub known as the Brendan Behan, so the jerky, 10-minute Claymation film by Claudio Aronica, about a bunch of Scottish lads in a contest to bed the new barmaid, had me riveted, even if the accents were incomprehensible. The song by a woman frustrated by her prospects down the pub ("A Vibro Is a Girl's Best Friend," also by Aronica, in drag) had me rolling. The conversation between a 25-year-old bottle of Macallan scotch and a rogues' gallery of other liquors -- Rémy Martin, Jack Daniel's, Stoli -- was hilarious. And a disquisition on "opera" in the Scottish pub, with helpful demonstrations by Aronica and Ahm Phuktiphano (a pseudonym), was a welcome excuse to hear filthy Scottish soccer chants belted out to melodies from popular songs. The production values were crap, but it was over in an hour, and the reckless energy was like fresh air compared to other, earnest shows that aren't as good as they think.


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