City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Theatre Review: Hoors

By Alex Eades - Posted on 06 May 2009

Hoors at the Traverse Theatre
Show Details
Traverse Theatre
Traverse Theatre Company
Jimmy Fay (Director), Gregory Burke (Writer), Conor Murphy (Designer), Gemma Smith (Stage Manager), Paul Keogan (Lighting Designer), Katherine Mendelsohn (Dramaturg)
Catherine Murry (Nikki), Lisa Gardner (Vicky), Michael Moreland (Stevie), Andy Clark (Tony)
Running time: 

I am one of the few people on this planet who has neither seen or read Gregory Burke's Olivier award-winning Black Watch. I'm not proud of it, pray for forgiveness most nights and it is at the very top of my ‘to do' list....well nearly.

As the starting time approaches it becomes more and more apparent that this may, in actual fact, be a blessing in disguise. Not seeing Black Watch has actually placed me in the fortunate position of being unable to smudge Burke's follow up, Hoors, with any pointless, yet sadly inevitable, comparisons. These are fresh eyes. Fresh eyes with little expectation other than to stay open.

But even these eyes, fresh and open as they may be, needed the aid of a torch to escort them to a seat as the heavy shadow of Black Watch hung menacingly over Traverse one.

Andy and Vicky were due to get married. Unfortunately, Andy died whilst on his stag weekend and the very day there was supposed to be a wedding there will now be a funeral. Vicky, her sister Nikki and Andy's two friends, Stevie and Tony, meet up the evening before to share their grief. This turns into an evening of drink, drugs and truths about what was, what is and what could be.

Hoors is an extremely funny play. It belts along at a stunning pace with the snappy dialogue never easing throughout. The quality of the writing is evident from beginning to end, but the play is elevated by the sparkling cast.

Each playing characters that we all recognise from somewhere in our past, they all tap into that defining thing that made us both love and hate them, though not really recognising what that exactly is.

A special mention must go to Andy Clarke who plays Tony. I have met this person so many times at various parties, weddings and other social gatherings. There's only one of them at any one place at any one time. But you always know they are there. Probably trying to chat up your girlfriend. I hate this guy, but secretly admire him. Wish I could be like him, but then again glad I am not. Andy Clarke is that guy.....on stage I mean. Brilliant.

Beneath the humour, however, lies quite a sinister looking beast. People are rarely who they appear to be on the surface. And when you are sure you know them, they've changed. Or you've changed. It's a cruel game. The heart, as we all know, is a very dark place indeed. It wants what it wants, but usually only until the mind wants it too. All of these characters just want to find some happiness. They're just not sure what that is anymore.

Show runs at various times until 23 May 2009