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Just For Tonight (Salford)

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
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Venue: Salford Arts Centre
Where: Salford

A lonely punter’s search for an uncomplicated shag leads to a complex situation when Beth, the prostitute he chooses, turns out to be new to her profession. Together they explore the circumstances that have brought them to such an awkward state.

Writer Rebekah Harrison (who also plays Beth) takes literally her role as storyteller. Everything the audience needs to know is spelt out clearly so that there is no chance of ambiguity or personal interpretation. The information is conveyed in expositional dialogue that succeeds in announcing developments but sounds strained and unrealistic when spoken.

This is a play that takes itself very seriously and there is no room for humour of any kind. Paul Green and Harrison struggle with the dialogue and deliver flat performances that do not generate sympathy.

For a short play there is a sense of padding. Director Scott Berry prolongs scenes without purpose and the play moves at a snail’s pace.
It is refreshing to find a play that promotes basic and often overlooked virtues like decency and the need to make a connection between people. It is a shame, however, that this positive approach has been communicated in a way that makes these qualities seem so dull.
- Dave Cunningham


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