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Federer versus Murray

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Gerda Stevenson plays Flo, a worn down hospital nurse, in her own powerful short play about a marriage under strain.

She comes home each day to find her husband, Dave Anderson’s ironically named Jimmy Stewart, the opposite of a sex god, tuning up the telly for Wimbledon fortnight. He can’t wait to see his idol, Swiss maestro Roger Federer, smash Scottish anti-hero Andy Murray, in the semi-final.

Jimmy used to dream of faraway places while designing lavatory seats. He’s now laid off and hankering after a climb up the Matterhorn and a tour of Roger Federer country. He used to play jazz. But he’s gone off his sax, in the same way that he’s gone off his sex.

Stevenson cleverly mixes her points about nationalism and domestic misery with a tragic undertow. The couple have lost their only son in the Afghanistan war, and he haunts them still, paying his dad’s saxophone.

They hide behind their face paint for the semi-final, Flo daubing on blue and white for Andy, Jimmy applying red and white as the cross of St George, by mistake, before re-smudging it as the Swiss flag. It’s a funny, touching little play, neatly directed by Stevenson.


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