A Play, A Pie & A Pint: Soup by Ella Hickson Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Òran Mór and Traverse Theatre
Natalie Ibu (director), Andy Dempsey (stage manager), Patrick and Rita McGurn (design), Susannah Armitage (associate producer), David MacLennan (producer),Amy Gilmartin (production assistant), Alexander MacMillan (projection design), Andrew Cowan, David Gleeson, Gary Wilson, Ross Kirkland (technicians)
Bridget McCann (Annie), Finn Den Hertog (Dan ), John McColl (James)
Running time

The idea of soup is usually a comforting one but it is a bit disconcerting, or at least bemusing, to be watching a play with a character railing against the concept of on line reviewing when there are at least two such souls in the audience.

It is Easter, and Annie (Bridget McCann), a very grounded minister, is practising for the coming service. By candlelight, she is reading the passage from Matthew when the forsaken Christ calls to his Father,   “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

The family dynamics and tensions of the three characters are played out over their meal of, yes, you’ve guessed it, soup. Each parent’s body language in greeting the return of their own not quite prodigal son is distinct – Annie’s adoring terms and warm hugs are in stark contrast to the more tense and formal interaction of James, Dan’s boozy, film critic father.

The play shows both father and son having to make choices – one about settling down, one about his career. As a former journalist, John McColl (James) brought passion to his Luddite character who  thought he had ‘nothing new to say’ . Their game of making quick fire choices (dinosaur/pirate? Munro/Bardot?  Old/new? Stick or twist?) has unfortunate consequences with James playing his version of Judas and the forsaken Dan (Finn Den Hertog) being sent on a fool’s errand like a lamb to the slaughter.

This is the third play in this season’s A Play, A Pie & A Pint series at the Traverse and so far the weakest, but still a pleasant way to spend lunchtime.

The ticket price of £10 includes a pie and a pint or glass of wine or soft drink. Show runs from Tuesday 16 to Saturday 2 March and starts at 1pm. The season continues until 03 April with a new play each week.