Men Should Weep
Playing the stoic matriarch Maggie, Lorraine McIntosh brilliantly conveys the sense of being a product of her economic circumstances. She is merciless in criticising her neighbours, ferocious in disciplining her children, and vocal in her complaint that there is "nae work for the men, but aye plenty for the women". Yet, behind her fury, she shows us a good-hearted woman making the most of the little she's got. As our own government demonises the poor, hers is an example as pertinent as ever.
The Guardian * * * *
Veteran folk singer Arthur Johnstone punctuates each scene with a presence that accentuates the blistering lyricism of Stewart’s own words. So when John breaks down and says that “All I’ve done wrong is to be born into poverty,” it’s as if he’s mourning his entire generation’s emasculation.
The Herald * * * *
[Playwright Ena] Lamont Stewart has an unparallelled ability to understand and stage true dramatic conflict; the final cataclysmic row ... is only the last in a tremendous series of confrontations, each one illustrating more powerfully than the last the sheer impossibility of living a decent, joyful, and morally uncompromised life when there isn't enough money in the house to feed the kids.
The Scotsman * * * *
Close to perfect in its combination of unerring and entirely appropriate naturalism with the powerfully engaged (and engaging) performances of a universally brilliant cast.
This is a generation of men whose only crime, as John cries out, was to be born into poverty. And as such, it cries out a chilling warning to us now, in far more comfortable times.
A classic slice of Scottish theatrical life.