A Play, A Pie and A Pint, Ring Road, Traverse, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Òran Mór and presented by Traverse Theatre
Anita Vettesse (writer), Johnny McKnight (director), Andy Cowan (sound design), Ross Kirkland (lighting design)
Angela Darcy (Lisa), Martin Donachy(Mark), Robbie Jack (voice over)
Running time

Sex and the single brother-in-law!

Anita Vettesse has created an outrageous comic twist on the theme of the eternal triangle in this final Spring season of a Play, a Pie and a Pint at the Traverse.

Lisa (Angela Darcy) is a 40 something teacher in a run-of-the-mill childless marriage. In her mind, being a non-Mom undermines her social status so she and her husband Paul have undertaken tests as her body clock is ticking loudly. Turns out it’s Paul who is the ‘problem’ so Lisa keeps things in the family by turning to his brother, Mark (Martin Donachy) to help out in her wish to be pregnant. What could be simpler? After all, the brothers share DNA …

Vettesse’s tautly written script takes this odd couple, related through marriage but connected by the spark of sexual chemistry, through the mire of ethics they find themselves embedded in. Questions about what love is, confronting the conventions of marriage and the façade of relationships along with the problems of so-called detached sex or ‘maintenance f***s’ are exposed with raucous wit throughout. Dusty Springfield’s song Son of a Preacher Man that opens this lunchtime gem holds a hint what really prompts Lisa’s elaborate plan.

The functional twin bedded hotel room somewhere on a ring road that’s to serve as their place of consummation is backdrop to the revelation of old issues that ‘men are from Mars and women from Venus’ that sneak through the utterly credible dialogue as family tensions and lies come to the surface. The double meaning in the play’s title gives a nod to the smartphone that has such a significant role that it could be said to be another character in this piece.

The facial expressions and subtle body language of the two actors, who never miss a beat under Johnny McKnight’s skilled direction, are just brilliant all the way. But of course in a sex comedy it’s the not so subtle body language that gets the laughs and this cast did not disappoint. The important mechanics of sex, especially when a single purpose beyond mere pleasure is apparently on the cards, is done with commendable bravery involving Donachy revealing his Superman pants and the miracle of Darcy retaining her knickerless modesty.

Being written by respected Scottish actor Anita Vettesse and directed by equally respected Scottish actor and writer Johnny McKnight is clearly a winning combination for this is wonderfully funny play that romps along beautifully before arcing to real hand-to-the-mouth poignancy at the end. Braw!

Tue 12 – Sat 16 Apr, 1pm, Fri 15 Apr, 1pm & 7pm Age Recommend