Where to start with this wee gem of a play? The simple set of two bentwood chairs set on a very recognisable carpet easily suggests a hotel of a certain era but belies the complexity of dialogue that unfolds between Helen, the receptionist, and Evan, the guest. From the formality of the customer and hotel employee, their relationship shifts as the common threads from their past lives unravel.
The play is set in Helensburgh, allowing the writer to touch on the impact of the presence of the Faslane Naval Base on the characters and the community as well as on the overt and inverted snobbery of a small town. But there is much more going on here.
David Harrower is an internationally acclaimed playwright and the depth and breadth of his experience is evident in the crossed wires and puns in the dialogue delivered with cool assuredness by Blythe Duff as Helen, the mother of a former school mate of the new guest. Andrew Scott-Ramsay, as the well named Evan Bold, has a strong yet discreet stage presence and his character deals with her intense interchange in a manner that does his name proud.
The past and present revelations of these two are not shocking but surprising and this tightly written and performed play allows for redemption and forgiveness in the very ordinary extraordinariness of the crossing of the paths of this man and woman.
The best has definitely been left the till last. Here’s to the next season in the Spring!
This is the last play of this third season of the fantastic lunchtime theatre event, A Play, A Pie and A Pint, jointly presented by Òran Mór and Paines Plough when the Traverse Theatre has shown five brand new plays by some of the UK and Ireland’s top writers.
They were performed at the Traverse following World premieres at Glasgow’s Òran Mór, then these five co-productions will tour to the Live Theatre in Newcastle, the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry and Bewley’s Café Theatre in Dublin, taking A Play, A Pie and A Pint to more people than ever before.
Tues19– Sat 23 October (1pm)
£12 (include a play, a pie and a pint of Caledonian IPA or McEwan’s 70 Shilling, 175ml glass of wine, regular glass of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Lemonade or Orange Juice.)