A Slow Air

David Harrower
Traverse 2

There won't be many better written plays in Edinburgh this year than A Slow Air. David Harrower has penned and directs a story told in monologues delivered by a middle-aged brother and sister.

Athol and Morna haven't spoken for 14 years and, living in different places, Edinburgh and Houston, Renfrewshire, there seems little reason why they should ever do so again.

The catalyst for their ultimate reunion is Morna's son, Joshua, who is about to celebrate his 21st birthday.

On one level, all that happens is that the pair bitch about each other, re-write their collective history and reluctantly get together and enjoy a few drinks.

Underlying this basic premise, Harrower and his two performers, Lewis and Kathryn Howden, explore the lives of Athol and Morna in intricate detail. They then go a step further to look at Scotland today and some of the ways in which it has changed over the last few decades.

This may be quiet theatre but it is nevertheless intense, as not only are love and economics dissected from the points of view of ordinary people but the impact of terrorism on nondescript communities also comes under the microscope.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher