Most Favoured (PPP), Traverse Theatre, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Òran Mór presented by the Traverse Theatre
David Ireland (writer), Hamish Pirie (director), Martin O’Neil (assistant director), (Patrick McGurn (designer), Jonathan Scott (assistant designer), David McLennan (producer), Sarah Macfarlane (assistant producer), Camilla O’Neill and Kara Jackson (stage managers)
Gabriel Quigley (Mary), Richard Rankin (Mike)
Running time

An American who hasn’t heard of KFC or McDonalds? That particular improbability is at the crux of Irish writer David Ireland’s latest comedy that is the third play in this season’s a Play, a Pie and a Pint.

The set is a messy non-descript hotel room whose tangled bed we soon learn is the result of some top of the range sex during a one night stand between Mike (Richard Rankin) and Mary (Gabriel Quigley).

Mary is approaching 40 and her body clock is ticking. She is through from Glasgow at the Edinburgh Festival to find some ‘good genes’, having exhausted her extensive supply in her home town, and has met Mike, a young American. The sex has been so extraordinary that Mary can’t just go without commenting about it.

However, Mike’s breakfast of a giant bucket of fast food chicken is taking all his attention as he focusses on that particular moment of pleasure like an enormous child. Is he just callous or is something more bizarre going on?

At first it seems like the old Mars and Venus scenario with male and female lines of communication moving along in parallel but never actually touching. But something is amiss.

Mike, dressed just his pants and whiter than white socks and trainers like the sexual athlete Mary believes him to be, is behaving like an idiot savant, and displaying some decidedly odd personal habits.

This short and funny play under Hamish Pirie’s smart direction is packed with a dialogue of farcical tensions between this odd couple. It is performed with the strength of Quigley’s usual natural comic presence and timing and though Rankin’s American accent may be as suspect as his character’s discovery of deep fried fast food, he brings a cunning believability to his ingénu character.

There is a rather lovely allusion towards the end of the piece whose description would ruin the dénouement, but is worth looking out for. Another lunchtime gem.

Show times

5 Mar 2013 to 09 Mar 2013, 1pm


£12 (includes a play, a pie and one of the following: a pint of beer, 125ml glass of wine, regular glass of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, lemonade, orange juice, tea or filter coffee)