The Dirty Talk

Sober Stag Productions

C Chambers Street

From 30 July 2014 to 25 August 2014

Rating: ***

Review by Graeme Strachan

When two men meet up in a woodland cabin on a stormy evening, it transpires that they've met under false pretences.

It becomes swiftly clear that one of the men was expecting a woman to arrive, and although we've evidently missed that first moment of shocked surprise, the play concerns itself with the fallout that occurs after Lino and Mitch realise they are going nowhere fast.

Delving into the oft-trod pathways that lead from loneliness, identity confusion and fear of the world, The Dirty Talk revolves around a 'Catfish' situation, where Lino has pretended to be a busty blonde beauty, ready to run to Mitch's side for a night of hanky-panky and guiltfree desire fulfillment.

Mitch's anger over the deception, combined with a small, but not overplayed, sense of mild homophobia, leads to some silliness, before the pair finally begin to open up to each other and begin to see each other as sad and lonely souls.

It's not a pat story, and avoids the most obvious routes and the happy ending which have mired some other Fringe plays in the past. The Dirty Talk however isn't perfect. The opening is unclear, and throws open questions which are never answered, and an ongoing joke about Lino being made to hide behind a dresser, is overlong and never funny.

Still, it's a solid hour of mind and eye-opening theatre traffic.