Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: A Gambler’s Guide To Dying

Written and performed by Gary McNair, ‘A Gambler’s Guide To Dying’ is a true story of true story of what we live for and what we leave behind.

Presented by Holden Street Theatres’ Edinburgh Fringe Award 2015 in association with Show And Tell and Gary McNair
Reviewed 10 February 2016

There are some productions where one leaves at the end of the show re-charged, renewed and knowing that one has just witnessed a theatrical masterpiece – this is indeed the case with A Gambler’s Guide To Dying. Any audience member seeing this incredible piece of storytelling has indeed hit the Jackpot.

Written and performed by Gary McNair and directed by Gareth Nicholls, A Gambler’s Guide To Dying tells the true story of a young Glaswegian boy’s Grandad who, having won a fortune betting on the outcome of the 1966 football World Cup, bets it on living til the year 2000, after being diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.

While sounding somewhat depressing, this production is anything but. It is wonderfully funny, poignant, moving and totally uplifting.

GamblerMcNair is magnificent. He is totally engaging, hilarious, touching one’s soul with his impressions of his Grandad and then of himself as a young impressionable lad, and reminds one of a young Billy Connelly (but not so frenzied). His is a performance born out of truth, making us feel blessed that we are sharing so many precious memories with him.

Director Nicholls wisely lets the story and storyteller speak for themselves.

But instead of reading this review, go out and place your money on this sure bet!

Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Twitter: @briangods

Rating (out of 5): 6 (yes, it’s that good!)

Venue: Holden Street Theatres – The Studio   34 Holden Street, Hindmarsh
Season: 9 February – 13 March 2016
Duration: 70 mins
Tickets: $15 – $26
Bookings: Book through or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply) or at


To Top