City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Broth, Traverse, Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 14 April 2015

Show Details
Traverse Theatre
Traverse Theatre Company
Tim Primrose (writer), Andy McNamee (director)
Ron Donachie (Jimmy), Vincent Friell (Patch), Kay Gallie (Mary), Mollie Innes (Sheena) , Kirsty Mackay (Ally)
Running time: 

A frozen tableau opens the last in this season’s A Play, a Pie and a Pint at the Traverse from Edinburgh based Traverse 50 writer, Tim Primrose. Mary, also known as Zaza (Kay Gallie) sits at the kitchen table staring into space. Her daughter Sheena (Molly Innes) and her granddaughter Ally (Kirsty Mackay) stand incredulously round the kitchen table where the bulk of the grandfather Jim McCrory, also known as Paga (Ron Donachie) sits slumped down with his head in a pool of blood. The stove top kettle has a big red stain on it and nobody knows quite what to do.

While the two younger women pussy foot around the detached cigar smoking, biscuit nibbling Gran, loud bubbling sounds indicate that something is going on in the cooking department. Turns out there’s a wee chicken being turned in to stock and the smell is turning the stomach of everyone, except of course Jim who is dead to the world. That is until in a pure Cape Fear moment he roars to life spitting out the misogynist bile that’s embedded in his psyche.

This is a surreal and at times funny look at family life where three generations of women are at the mercy of a demanding and (almost) unreconstructed Edinburgh hard man - well he did manage to set a table and serve the soup! As he orientates himself his skewed values make frustrations in the distaff side of the family rise like scum on stock. As they take turns at actual stock skimming, Macbeth’s witches could easily spring to mind before his final comeuppance. The appearance of Jim’s mate and general fly man Patch, brilliantly played by Vincent Friell, adds a well observed caricature of a male chancer.

The play is written in acutely heard local Edinburgh dialect all well delivered by the all- round consummate cast. It holds a recurrent amusing theme from Mary about the option of salvation through an array of religions that are in turn dismissed for tenuous reasons like not suiting a shaved heid or risking the chance of coming back as a Jambo! The play’s dissatisfaction lies in whether or not Jim is dead and whether or not his special relationship with Ally is more than her being his “lucky charm” at the Powderhall dugs. He says, “Ye don’t hit a wee lassie.”

He also says, “A guid broth - an ye’re laughin.” Not this time, Jim.

Broth was originally commissioned by the Traverse Theatre and first presented in the Festival 2014 Breakfast Plays series.

4 Apr 2015- 18 Apr 20151pm

Fri 17 April, 1pm & 7pm

Age Recommendation 14+ Full Price: £12 includes a drink -beer, wine, soft drink, tea or coffee, plus a pie /vegetarian pie