Dream Plays (Scenes from a Play I’ll Never Write): sex and drugs and rock and roll

Janice Galloway

Traverse 2

From 14 August 2012 to 26 August 2012

Rating: ****

Review by Philip Fisher

The plight of young women incarcerated in a mental institution is hardly cheer fare for 9AM on a sunny August Sunday. It is a kind of female, Scottish One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

However Janice Galloway, who is best known as a novelist and predictably shows great attention to detail, director David Greig and their cast manage to present an unusually in-depth view of lives in torment in only half an hour.

Alma, played with real feeling by Lynn Kennedy, is as close to a central character as we get, reading “intellectual junkie” Alexander Trocchi and observing her fellows, while anorexically avoiding food.

Some of her fellows may seem normal, especially Pamela Reid’s angelic 14-year-old Michelle, but that is because her sleeves remain rolled down, hiding the self-inflicted cuts.

Louise Ludgate and Iain Robertson complete a strong cast, the former taking multiple, muscular roles such as drunken Rhonda and the only male playing a sympathetic carer.