On The Sidelines
In 2016 MacKinnon directed ON THE SIDELINES, a one-man play by William Mcilvanney and performed by Iain Robertson at Oran Mor, Glasgow. Reviewing it for The Sunday Herald, Mary Brennan described the performance as filled with “rueful humour, lingering romance and quiet despair … subtly balancing all the hilarity of barbed one-liners and tales of thwarted amours, with genuinely affecting glimpses of down-at-heel loneliness“.
Flesh and Blood
In 2009 MacKinnon wrote a Radio 4 Friday play- FLESH AND BLOOD. Reviewing it for The Guardian, Elisabeth Mahoney wrote:
“Extraordinarily, Flesh and Blood was filmmaker Gillies Mackinnon’s first radio drama. You couldn’t tell: this was immediate, intimate and distinct. I loved the atmospheric sound details, from heavy, stressed breathing to the buffing of shoes with a stiff brush. The play was recorded on location in Glasgow, which created an echoey, gloomy aural setting where, as the drama about fathers and sons unfolded, secrets and unanswered questions ricocheted noisily. The two central performances – Gary Lewis (pictured) as Kenny, and David Hayman as his father Roddy – were spot on. Among their terse, vexed exchanges were moments of eloquence, but these concerned the past and its heartbreak. Kenny recalled the night his wife told him she was leaving him: “I’m spraying Merry Christmas back to front in the window, and she comes in and says, “It’ll never be a merry Christmas with you.” The structure was traditional, and dynamics familiar (the men don’t talk; the women talk lots and get things sorted), but this was a compelling exploration of that old expression, said with a deep sigh in the play, “like father, like son”.