British television comedy is littered with attempts to transfer success in our living rooms to the big screen of our local cinema – few have succeeded.
So it was with a little trepidation that insideMoray set off to the matinee opening showing of Mrs Brown D’Movie at the Moray Playhouse on Friday.
After hitting first Scottish then UK and international audiences with Brendan O’Carroll’s genius, no holes barred comedy, BBC Scotland have taken the show out of the studio and onto the streets of Dublin.
On the face of it that may not have seemed like a bad idea – but the daunting question for many in the Moray audience on Friday must have been – would it lose a deal of its magic?
Those doubts increased as the gag-a-minute offering that made Mrs Brown’s Boys such a massive hit on the small screen were posted missing in the opening half hour or so of the movie.
It’s not that the fun is knocked out of the show, more that the massive landscape of a city had replaced the Brown’s family home and local pub. That and the ‘feed’ the cast always seemed to get from a live audience who are very much a part of the show on TV and in Theatre’s around the world.
Then again, by the time you are presented with a Chicken and a Ninja Warrior riding a stolen horse with no name into a Dublin court room, you have been utterly and completely drawn into this new wide-screen version of Mrs Brown.
From a somewhat random and thin plot Mrs Brown takes us on a tour of Dublin, we find that Ireland’s favourite Mammy has all the time been a street trader in a central market that is under threat from Russian gangsters and corrupt elected representatives.
We see Brendan O’Carroll play two roles in D’Movie as he remains hilarious as Mrs Brown but perhaps less so as the leader and instructor of a group of blind ninja warriors enlisted to help the Brown’s locate the receipt for a tax bill paid a generation earlier.
If this sounds a little ridiculous in print well, it is – after all, this is Mrs Brown’s Boys where ridiculous is the point.
The television series is all about off-beat and irreverent observations on life – and so is D’Movie, just bigger. What the cinema offering does have more time for is to provide a greater insight into the skills of O’Carroll and the mainly real-life family members that form the cast.
The skills of O’Carroll’s wife, Jennifer Gibney, are brought to the fore in a superb speech in a Dublin court that she delivers with a very real passion that leaves you wondering if she was acting at all.
Bottom line? This version of Mrs Brown’s boys will have you laughing alright, although perhaps not as much as you might expect, and might even at times have you crying.
Whatever we might say though, it is clear that Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie will be the must-see event in Moray and throughout the country – so don’t miss it.
Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie is showing at the Moray Playhouse in Elgin daily at 2pm and 8pm. Ticket enquires to 01343 542680 or visit the booking office online