by multi award winning writer Rona Munro and performed by award winning actress Fiona Knowles
‘Holiday of a Lifetime’’. Marie won it on a scratch card. ‘Sun, sea, sand, an exotic island paradise’. The winning card said it all, the heaven… ‘an all expenses paid fortnight in a luxury hotel’ and the hell… ‘for all the family’! The family, Katy, Marie’s daughter, teenager with attitude, Graham, Marie’s husband once the love of Marie’s life, now 15 years past his sell by date… and his Mum! It’s a once in a lifetime experience all right, an experience that will change their lives! Take one everyday family, heat to 36 degrees, cover in suntan oil, leave in hired car to cook, then stand back and watch, as years of family tensions boil over in a hilarious mix of laughter and tears. What is Katy’s secret? Why does Mum end up behind bars? Who stole Gran!? Find out with Fiona Knowles as she takes you on a comic, compassionate catastrophe of family relationships in Stick Granny on the Roof-Rack.
The MsFits Theatre Co
Fiona Knowles – Edinburgh Evening News Capital Award Winning Comedy Actress, London Weekend Television Award nominated and acclaimed for her virtuoso performances in MsFit plays incl Sex & Chocolate, Women on the Verge of a T Junction, Fur Coat & Magic Knickers, Women Behaving Madly & Mad Bad & Dangerous to Know. Fiona has performed in award winning TV, Stage & Radio since the early 70’s.
Rona Munro – Award Winning Playwright, Film credits incl Ken Loach’s Ladybird Ladybird, Aimee and Jaguar and 2011 Oranges & Sunshine directed by Jim Loach.. TV credits include Dr Who, Bumping the Odds and Casualty. Radio credits include The Stanley Baxter Playhouse. Stage credits incl commissions for the RSC, NTS, Traverse Theatre, Manchester Royal Exchange, Hampstead Theatre & The Edinburgh International Festival. Plays incl Bold Girls, IRON, Long Time Dead, The Last Witch, Pandas, Indian Boy, Little Eagles & 19 MsFit shows for Fiona Knowles.
Stick Granny on the Roof-Rack Review – THOM DIBDIN Edinburgh Evening News The Traverse Theatre Edinburgh
It’s the MsFits again. That’s Rona Munro writing the words with Fiona Knowles giving them comic interpretation on stage. And this gentle riff on family life sees Knowles creating three generations of a family on their holiday of a lifetime.
This is the holiday that Marie has been waiting for. She won it herself, but the hard- hearted competition company won’t give her a holiday for one. It’s a family holiday. So out-of-work husband Graham, nippy mother-in-law Nan and irksome last teenage daughter Kate all have to come too.
Marie is so tied up with looking after her family that she hasn’t a moment to herself. She dreams she’s in one of those urban myths where Granny dies, but the family don’t want to stop having fun so they bundle up the corpse and stick it on the roof-rack for safe keeping. Except the car gets stolen.
This compulsive woman, stretched to the point of breaking, is an all too recognisable creation from Munro and Knowles which, along with the familiar little traits of those around her, allows you to get right down and sympathise with her plight as she describes the horrors of family life.
Then it all changes, deliciously, as the spotlight switches to Nan. While Marie stomps off down to the beach, Nan goes searching for something on the roof-rack of the car. And the story we get from her is a slightly different take on family life to Marie’s revelations.
Better is to come as Nan is left falling asleep in the car park and Knowles gets to continue the narrative from Kate’s point of view.
This spiky adolescent has exactly enough of a persecution complex to make her funny. And her take on life is an instantly recognisable one.
While there’s no fairy dust, drag or deformed old hag, this is just the sort of treat that keeps you chuckling long after Knowles has taken her bow.