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A Gambler's Guide to Dying

From 13 member  reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Funny, Delightful, Clever, Entertaining

About the show

Show and Tell presents a solo show about a granddad who won a fortune in 1966 and, when diagnosed with cancer, gambled it all on living to see the year 2000. Part of 59E59's annual Brits Off Broadway festival. More…

'A Gambler's Guide to Dying' is an intergenerational tale of what we live for and what we leave behind. Gary McNair's award-winning solo show opens in New York following highly acclaimed runs at Spoleto Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Adelaide Festival, and London's off-West End.

Member Reviews (13)


Thought-provoking, Funny, Delightful, Clever, Entertaining
Avg Score

Enchanting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Touching, Inspiring

See it if One man show about a relationship between a boy and his dying grandfather. What matters most during this time?

Don't see it if You don't want to further appreciate the dying process. I had some trouble understanding the Scottish accent and humor.

A poignant solo show

See it if You enjoy a good solo show about family relationships.

Don't see it if You hate solo shows

Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Storytelling

See it if You would enjoy a solo performance telling the partly true story of a Scottish grandfather as he nears the end of life.

Don't see it if You have trouble with Scottish accents.

Heartfelt, Onehander, Memory-piece, Slice of life

See it if One man's remembrance of his endearing, exasperating grandfather told from a young teen's point of view. Charming & funny, some lines were..

Don't see it if ...lost due to McNair's heavy Scottish accent. Not new territory but a very personal prism on what makes a good death for patient & family.

Delightful, Funny, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like storytelling, love British football, ever lived in the UK, or just want to be absorbed in a very true-to-life narrative

Don't see it if you have trouble with Scottish accents, don't like storytelling (think: 70-minute Moth story on steroids), hate small theater/one-man shows

Also One young Scotsman tells the story of his grandfather's life and legen... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if Gary McNair's solo show spans generations, and makes the art of storytelling an unforgettable experience, with slow moments at times.

Don't see it if if you do not consider storytelling a valuable art of communications, and hate one character plays

Bittersweet, Funny, Nostalgic, Tender, Compassionate

See it if you enjoy a story about a relationship between a grandparent and grandson maturing over a number of years

Don't see it if you have trouble understanding a heavy Scottish accent

Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if You like short, one person shows, in a small theater.

Don't see it if You're not interested in stories about a young man spending time with his dying grandfather.

Also Nice story told very lovingly.

Clever, Entertaining, Confusing, Dated, Masterful

See it if Someone who appreciate the chance of gambling.

Don't see it if Some one who is not into the game of chance.

During previews
Low-key, Thought-provoking, Good storytelling

See it if you enjoy a good yarn with insights into living and dying. McNair's script mostly works. His acting and the simple staging are adequate.

Don't see it if you want a polished performance. But there is charm, wisdom, and humor. Occasionally the story drags, even at a mere 70 minutes.

Also McNair should get a haircut or should tie his hair back. He ends up pu... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Funny, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy a well acted one-man show that is humorous but also deals with interesting issues about life and death

Don't see it if you want a production with a big cast and fancy set design.

During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Resonant

See it if you like short, one-man shows that are pure storytelling. A sweet look at the relationship between granddad and grandson.

Don't see it if you don't like one-man shows, small venues, or a lack of action. It's a story. The stage is tiny. The set is minimal.

Also This show was a very sweet telling of a story by a grandson about his ... Read more Read less

During previews
Enchanting, Funny, Touching, Masterful, Original

See it if You want to be totally charmed by a masterful, funny, enchanting actor in a beautifully performed piece of theater that will warm your heart

Don't see it if You don't care to hear a heart-warming family story that spans generations ... And you don't like to laugh or be touched.

April 17th, 2017
“A stunning and original one-man show…This is one to experience. It is a dramatic, yet humorous and touching account that traces the life of a compulsive gambler...This is an intriguing story about a man who chooses to live by his own rules. Gary McNair's solo performance is absolutely superb…The...
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April 17th, 2017
"It's certainly a story one hasn't heard before, but for some reason, it doesn't really catch fire. McNair's text focuses on the boy and his grandfather, yet doesn't succeed in bringing their world to life. I never quite believed the boy's attachment to his eccentric relative, who didn't seem to ...
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April 14th, 2017
“‘To some he was dad, to some he was mate,’ says McNair at the top of his monologue. ‘To others he was liar, cheat, addict, hero, storyteller.’ Over the course of the next 70 minutes, McNair will also do, with modest effects and a modicum of success, other voices including his much younger self, ...
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April 10th, 2017
"McNair has real stage presence. Endowed with a sturdy physique and a well-modulated voice that is colored with a burr, he effortlessly holds his own as he seamlessly shifts from one character to another. What's more, he has written a fluid monologue that is a mix of prose and poetry interspersed...
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