The Unity, Liverpool
This play made its debut in 1984 and on the eve of its thirtieth birthday it is still in good shape as a quirky comedy. It will amuse you, make you laugh out loud, bring a lump to the throat and if you are female will no doubt stir up plenty of memories.
Fiona and her mother return to a Scottish seaside town ‘for a wee break' and tension is in the air from the word go. Their lives are not panning out quite as they had imagined or hoped.
Writer Sharman Macdonald takes us on a ride into their past and as the action jumps around from 1955 to 1983 we see relationships of mother and daughter; best friends and first sexual encounter played out in all their humour, sadness and misunderstandings.
Gillian Hardie gives a terrific performance as Fiona as she sheds the years to become the belligerent but naïve fifteen year old. She is funny, touching and has an engaging stage presence.
As her mother, Barbara Wallis displays a nice line in finesse and beneath her nastiness she shows the disappointment of the woman – a lovely detailed performance.
Danielle Rudé has a natural and real air about her but her performance as best friend Vari is seriously under projected. James Ledsham brings decency and warmth to Ewan making the most of his supporting role.
The formally named M. F. Murchison directs with flair. The time shifts are made clear and excellent use of back projection and music add to the texture of the play. And if you can't show a train steaming through a tunnel this production has a great way to show (or not to show) sex!
Congratulations to Kidakidder Productions on its first outing. It is a delightful evening in the theatre and another little gem from the always fascinating Unity Theatre.
- Richard Woodward