A Day in Dull Armour
Royal Court Theatre Upstairs
The second play in the Royal Court's Young Writers Festival 2002 is the first sight of a playwright who presents a really original voice. In an hour, Chloe Moss takes a fresh, affectionate look at young love. Her main strength is a great sense of humour that produces many hilarious lines.
The main protagonist is Tracey, a girl who "likes life - just not this one", played with great timing and sensitivity by Andrea Lowe. She is a sassy check-out girl at the local supermarket in the North West. She has recently broken up with her friend Jeanette's son, David (Anthony Flanagan) whose violent streak and possessive jealousy are barely suppressed.
Slowly, she gets wooed by Tony, a slightly backward security guard who likes reenacting wars but has a heart of gold. Tony Maudsley catches the poignancy of the uncertain loser whose luck finally turns well.
The comedy grows until it reaches its highlight with the story of Tracey's relationship with an unseen boyfriend Geoff and his surreal death. Director Richard Wilson's touc,h accompanied by good performances from Andrea Lowe and Tony Maudsley, ensure that the audience collectively cracks up at this point (not to mention several others).
Although the poignant ending may be a little unlikely and the male characters are more stereotypical than the excellently realised Tracey, this is a great debut and we are sure to hear more from Chloe Moss. This is the kind of play that justifies the Royal Court's work in developing and producing the work of talented youg writers.
Reviewer: Philip Fisher