30 March 2010 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews The spring season of A Play, A Pie and A Pint draws to a close with The Garden by Zinnie Harris. This lunchtime season of short plays emanating from Oran Mor in Glasgow (though this one was presented as part of The Traverse Festival series last year), has proved extremely popular. Many performances have sold out and the thankfully The Traverse will continue the run with an Autumn season.
Set in an unspecified American town at an indeterminate date in the future, bleak and uncompromising,
The Garden has some echoes of last week's play by Gregory Burke: it treats the themes in a less entertainingly humorous but ultimately more satisfying way. In a world where power cuts are common, plant life struggles to exist because of water shortage and and global warming has increased temperatures to unbearable levels.
A middle aged couple discover the small green shoots of what might be a weed under the lino. Mac, the scientist husband - who seems more concerned by his status on an important committee than in the outcome of its work - is unimpressed by the fledgling growth. His troubled wife Jane is much more nurturing initially. However it is Jane who finally cuts down the plant - which turns out to be an apple tree - realising that there is no future for the plant, or indeed for her and her husband.
There is little relief in the dark and chilling 35 minutes of this beautifully crafted play, sparingly directed by the author. The performances of
Anne Lacey and Sean Scanlan are compelling and the conclusion, where the couple come together to act as one, is sad and depressing. A fine play to end a very successful season.
- Keith Paterson
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