Flying with Swans, (A Play, A Pie and A Pint), Traverse, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Traverse Theatre Company
Jack Dickson (writer), Alison Peebles (director), Susannah Armitage (producer), Lesley Black (photo)
Kay Gallie (Jean), Anne Kidd (Dolly), Karen Ramsay (Mona)
Running time

“Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures”. So says a modern day beatitude and that’s the subject of the last play in this season’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint from writer, and former ferry steward, Jack Dickson.
Three old pals set off on the early Ardrossan to Arran ferry to watch swans flying. Jean (Kay Gallie) and Dolly (Anne Kidd) have been friends for years but Mona (Karen Ramsay) has appeared out of the blue following a friendship reduced to nothing but Christmas cards. Their past makes a refusal to meet out of the question.
The characters of the three women are well observed and utterly recognisable. They may be in the anoracked and rucksacked uniform of some women of a certain age, but the dialogue reveals the girls that inhabit the old women’s bodies. The defensive and incongruously named Dolly is a conservative and controlling retired solicitor and a serious counterpoint to her pals. The reckless Mona who arrived at the ferry in a stolen car she’d wrecked delights in shining light on suppressed truths while cavorting in her goonie, a hoodie and baseball cap.
There were good performances all round in this sympathetic feminine play but Kay Gallie shone with her characterisation of Jean, who sees Alzeimer’s as a potential comfort zone as she throws her pills over the ferry’s Corporation cream railings while dreaming of how much she could “go an ice cream”, even if it was ozone flavoured. Her memories, delivered with astute comic timing, are a like a version of the Maurice Chevalier song I Remember it Well yet when she has clarity it is diamond sharp and full of sorrow.
After dialogue full of dry wit that evokes waves of laughter from the start through much of the first half, the play reaches flatter waters. The not so surprising ending is more of a disappointment than a shock after such mutual opening of hearts.
age recommendation
14+ Tue 4 Nov – Sat 8 Nov, 1pm
(additional 7pm performance on Fri, 7 Nov) Tickets
£12(includes a play, a pie and a pint of beer/125ml glass of house wine/regular glass of Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, lemonade, orange juice, tea or filter coffee)