Denise Mina Play: Driving Manuel Review

driving manueldirected by Graham Eatough

Driving Manuel, A Play, A Pie and A Pint – OranMor

18th – 23rd March, 2013

If you fancy getting yourself creeped out then get along to OranMor to see Denise Mina’s Driving Manuel at A Play, A Pie and A Pint. I could have added, or catch it next week in Greenock, but that run is all sold out.

I wouldn’t say that I actually enjoyed this play as it was very unsettling. However,  I was glad that I was at lunchtime theatre as I was on my ownio and would have hated to be leaving the building alone on a dark night.

Andy Gray, as Peter Manuel, captured the strange and scary persona of Scotland’s first serial killer very well. In the play we see him meeting with William Watt, (played by Callum Cutherbertson) a Glaswegian businessman, whose young daughter, wife and sister have all been murdered. Both men are under suspicion for the murders and Manuel has asked Watt to meet with him so that he can reveal the name of the ‘actual’ killer.

Neither of the characters are likeable and, despite his tragic situation, the pompous businessman doesn’t generate much sympathy. His superiority almost has the odd effect of drawing you towards Manuel, albeit his warped mind, lascivious attitude towards woman and lack of any display of remorse for his actions.

The question ‘is he bad? or is he mad?’ is well introduced and there’s a touch of humour to lighten the tone.  Mainly it’s all a bit creepy with the revisited murder scene in silhouette particularly shocking.

If there’s ever a voice only award then it should go to Clare Gray, who is the voice of the dead daughter, Vivienne. She made the murder scene decidedly chilling.

Don’t go alone, not even in the daytime.

Pat Byrne, March 2013.

David MacLennan, Producer
Glasgow Writers: David MacLennan

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Avatar of PatByrne Publisher of Pat's Guide to Glasgow West End; the community guide to the West End of Glasgow. Fiction and non-fiction writer.

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