Buffer, Space on North Bridge, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Thrive Theatre
Alan Gordon (writer), Becky Hope-Palmer (director), Hugh Holton (composer), Claudia Johns (designer)

Ross Donnachie (Craig), Lauren Hurwood (Sophie and porn star), Nicholas Nunn (Spencer)

Running time

A tangled web of lost and lonely love.

We’ve all seen it: couples on a date and each on their mobiles. In Alan Gordon’s words, “tapping not talking”. Are they on a call to each other or are they so uninterested in the here and now that they have to check on some other potential happening? In a world where there are tweets, texts, instagrams, hash tags and emails; a world where letters and phone calls are pretty much a thing of the past, nobody really speaks. These detached and brief communication methods mean avoiding real whites of the eyes conversations. So does technology help or hinder the very thing it’s designed for?

Three twenty-something characters are victims of these skewed means of communication to varying degrees. Spencer, brilliantly captured by Nicholas Nunn, is the eager, needy, constant tweeter, FB addict and post coital eggs expert who fancies Craig. Craig (Ross Donnachie) can take or leave Spencer and his breakfast eggs, uses internet porn and Grindr but still likes his privacy. Sophie (Lauren Hurwood) is a lonely technophobe who has travelled from Leeds to Dumfries to satisfy her curiosity about an old neighbour who is a regular letter writer. Her visit reveals secrets and lies that have affected generations.

The word Buffer - either a protection against impact or in computer terms a memory queue for data - neatly states the double edged element of this latest play from Traverse 50 writer, Alan Gordon. Gordon’s use of dialogue is edgy and authentic and his love of words is movingly expressed in Sophie’s alphabet of anguish near the end of the play.

This funny, fast paced interactive piece seems takes a while to gel with private tartan rug activities, casual gay sex and an apparently random and a slightly wacky tourist from Leeds taking up much of the action. But when it does tighten up towards the end it does so with great poignancy. The revelation of unanswered letters belying a lasting love in another generation is both written and acted beautifully.

Age suitability 12+ (nb 14+ seems more appropriate).
Aug 4th - Aug 9th, 1:10pm theSpaceUK @ North Bridge (Theatre 2) £7.50 (£5.50)
Aug 11th - Aug 16th, 10:45am theSpaceUK @ Surgeon’s Hall (Theatre 3) £7.50 (£5.50)

Tickets: £7.50 (£5.50)