Four Parts Broken, Traverse Theatre, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Òran Mór in association with the National Theatre of Scotland and the Traverse Theatre
Fernanda Jaber (writer - Brazil), Abigail Docherty (adaptor), Graham McLaren (director), David MacLennan (producer), Susannah Armitage (associate producer), Paul Donnelly (fight director), Patrick McGurn (designer), Daniel Dixon (stage manager), Iain MacDonald (assistant director), Kirstin Hogg (assistant designer), Sarah MacFarlane (trainee producer)
Stewart Cairns (Jason), Meg Fraser (Nina), Conor McCarron (Philip), Tom Vernel (James)
Running time

These lunchtime South American plays for this season’s international theme just get better and better. Last week looked at the issue of the disappeared and this week deals with the dispossessed.

It starts with two young men who have each been through the Care system:  Jim, played by Tom Vernel with wiry, awkward bravado, is living, both mentally and physically, as a down-and-out, in a fridge in fact, finding hope in collecting a bit of a table and having the kudos of another unspeakable find in his rucksack.

The other, Phil, played Conor McCarron,  an absolute  natural who is a powerhouse  on stage with real presence, has a new Mum showering him with new goods but all he really wants is for her to ‘make me something’ – like a homemade pie, a most appropriate wish for Play, Pie and Pint! 

Both Jim and Phil are on the sensitive cusp of manhood and the actors took part in a convincing fight scene, impressively directed by Paul Donnelly.

The other two ‘broken’ characters  loosely linked with the boys, are fraught with their own problems, and their own agendas that run like parallel lines, close but never as one.  Meg Fraser gave a strong performance as Nina, who also worked at the Care Home, showing manipulative female love that left no space for her and the obsessive Jason,  ably played by Stewart Cairns, ever coping together.

As with the other plays in the series, this is a thoroughly recognisable Scottish adaptation. It is energetic, raw and edgy and a great platform for two young budding actors of whom I’m sure we’ll be seeing more. And it’s not every day that you turn up for a lunchtime play and see a film star!

Show times

Tue 1 - Sat 5 March, 1pm

Play for the remaining season will be A Dead Man’s Dying (Wed 9 – Sat 12 Mar) The Confidant (Tues 15 – Sat 19 Mar) at 1pm.

All Tickets are £12 and include a play, a pie and a drink from the top class Traverse Theatre bar café.