This new 5-week season of the popular lunchtime A Play, A Pie and A Pint has a South American theme with writers from Venezuela, Brazil and Columbia, hence the wonderful tango image on the flyers.
The season opened with Venezuelan writer Rodolfo Santana’s The Company Will Overlook A Moment of Madness, that tells of a loyal factory worker, Orlando Nuñes (Lewis Howden), who is summoned to the company's psychologist after being involved in a violent factory incident.
The play sees Orlando, a man living in a poor barrio with 7 children and a wife to support, being examined by the tense and neurotic Doctor Garcia (Jo Freer) as to his motives and thinking on his seemingly uncharacteristic behaviour.
Rodolfo Santana, a prolific playwright, says he tries “...to write for workers... struggling to survive the rising cost of living... these are the people I want to bring to the stage.” And this powerful ideology comes across strongly in this funny adaptation.
Jo Freer gave a fierce yet comic performance as the psychologist who is full of her own personal angst. She energetically manipulates the employee on behalf of the company, a challenge from her usual muffin filled sinecure, delivering Byrnesque lines like “...I’ve a half finished cross stitch of a panda in my drawer”.
While the Spanish names have been kept in the text, this is a Scottish performance from the two actors. There are no false Latino accents or gestures - just guid acting!
Lewis Howden is every inch the bemused and desperate shop floor employee hauled up to the executive suite who, like an old Republican getting an OBE, warms to the balm of bonuses after being engineered to a new point of view by therapy.
This is a strong and punchy wee play that augurs well for the remaining season.
A Play, A Pie and A Pint performances
- Tues 15 – Sat 19 Feb: The Company Will Overlook A Moment of Madness
- Tues 22 – Sat 26 Feb: Instructions for a Butterfly Collector / The Archivist
- Tues 1 – Sat 05 Mar: Four Parts Broken
- Wed 9 – Sat 12 Mar: A Dead Man’s Dying
- Tues 15 – Sat 19 Mar: The Confidant
Shows at 1pm
All Tickets are £12 and include a play, a pie and a drink from the Traverse Theatre bar café.
My experience of these lunchtime shows is that they are pretty well attended, but £12 seems steep for a short show, albeit a quality piece of theatre. More ‘bums on seats’ would maybe be achieved from some concession here.