Full Steamie ahead at the Abbey

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The ‘Glasgae patter’ is in full flow at the Abbey Theatre this week as a heartwarming comedy classic takes to the stage.

The Steamie’ by Tony Roper is a hilarious insight into what went on in the public laundry facilities, ‘steamies’, that used to be a central part of life in Glasgow and other Scottish cities.

Set on Hogmanay, four friends have gathered to do their final laundry of the year, have a wee catch up and contemplate the year ahead.

The fast-paced banter, perfectly executed by the cast, is interspersed with some great singing in which the principals are joined by the ensemble washerwomen.

Irene Lindsay tugs at the heart strings as steamie stalwart Mrs Culfeathers whose advancing years and the failing health of her husband leave her isolated and fearing the future.

Brenda Reid is a veritable force of nature as the hyper-chatty and slightly bonkers Dolly, particularly funny is her delayed reaction to an encounter with a peat bath.

Pam Ruxton is fantastic as the irascible Magrit, her take-no-prisoners attitude complementing her scatty compatriots.

Debbi Proctor is bright, funny and on the ball with her delivery as young wife Doreen, who dreams of a better life in a new scheme and has high hopes for the the future, in stark contrast to Mrs Culfeathers.

Sam Yuille is the perfect counterpoint as the nosey and interfering Andy, the steamie caretaker and secret tippler.

Well done to all the other ladies of the steamie who were in fine voice: Ann Marie Bray, Kat Hamilton, Marlene Kear, heather Osborne, Heather Osborne, heather Reid, Kim Rennie and Maddie Simpson.

The stage crew have outdone themselves recreating a traditional steamie, with stalls, huge sinks, boilers and old prams filled to bursting with laundry.

Director Carol Bruce has chosen a great cast to bring the camaraderie of the steamie to life and we urge you to go along and see it while you can as a professional tour has limited the Abbey’s run to just four nights, finishing tomorrow (Saturday).

Tickets are available on the door, on their website at www.theabbeytheatre.org or via VisitScotland on 01241 872609.