Out of the Bad

Anne Hogg adapted by Sarah McCardie

New Town Theatre

From 04 August 2017 to 25 August 2017

Rating: ***

Review by Keith Mckenna

Anne Hogg’s forty-five minute play Out of the Bad is a gentle snapshot of a loving relationship between a mother and her daughter.

It takes place in Mary’s kitchen the night after an event to commemorate the 103-day occupation by workers of the Caterpillar plant in Tannchside in 1987 after management announced its closure.

As the show opens, we see on the back of the stage short video footage of rallies and speeches from that struggle along with some pictures of the thirty years since of Mary (Kate Donnelly) and her daughter Danni (Keira Lucchesi).

Mary has a huge hangover so isn’t quite ready for Danni’s visit but Danni arrives telling her that her friend Jess has been taken to hospital. It sparks a conversation about fathers, pals and children.

Mary’s relationship with Danni’s father ended a long time before, partly due to the way he treated her. But she also recalls the way he responded to the occupation where he was one of those who “lay down quick enough, mostly on the couch.”

For her, the positive thing that came out of the dispute was the birth of Danni, demonstrating for her that “out of the bad can come good”.

But Danni thinks that contact with her Dad is important and intends spending his birthday with him, which Mary agrees he will like as long as Danni pays for the food they eat.

The actors give warm believable performances.

The mood of the show is mixed. There is still the sense of loss about the continuing suffering inflicted by the events of '87. At the same time, there is a feeling of hope in the affection Danni and Mary express for each other.