AN ALLOA stage is set to be transformed into a 1950s Glasgow wash house as the latest Alman production steams ahead.

Comedy drama The Steamie will be running at the Coach House Theatre from the end of November in one of the few plays that captures the essence of working-class survival some 70 years ago.

Tony Roper's work will take audiences back to the time when the Glasgow slums still housed thousands of families and society knew the cost of the austerity which lasted well after the war.

A visit to the steamie was a weekly event for most mothers and wives who lived on the edge of poverty and the writer captured the values and aspirations of a group of pals who share their struggles with each other.

The hilarious script includes wicked asides and hard-hitting comments with the ladies saying exactly what they think.

Most famous is the ageing Mrs Culfeathers who is still working her hands to the bone, earning a bare living doing other, richer people's washing.

Senga Awlson plays the part with a vulnerability and tenderness to which the others respond. Her Galloway's Mince routine remains as fresh today as it did when first performed.

In what is a strong and experienced Alman cast, Sam Mackenzie is the acid-tongued Magrit, the maternal power who holds her family together despite a totally hapless husband.

She gives a wonderful portrayal of a hard-pressed mother who lives in the face of real life in the slums.

Dolly is a more upbeat character that Moira Walker plays with great gusto.

Robyn Gordon, who is being introduced as an Alman actor, takes on the role of Doreen, who is still young and aspirational, dreaming of one day having a television set, refrigerator, indoor bathroom and a garden.

The men are not ignored either but take a solid hit from the women who essentially hold their societies together.

In designing the set, Walter Awlson has created a masterpiece, aided and abetted by David Dobbie, Steve Baker, Jim Allan, Ross Carpenter and Clare Jackman.

The Steamie is being directed by Gerry Docherty in conjunction with co-director Gary Mackenzie.

Gerry said that from the first rehearsal, the play has been a joy to be involved with.

The play will run from Tuesday, November 29, to Saturday, December 10, all at 7.30pm.

There will be one matinee on Saturday, December 3, at 2.30pm.

Tickets for The Steamie are available from