Heaven

Simon Stephens
A Traverse and Òran Mór production
A Play, a Pie and a Pint Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
(2010)

Production photo

Theatre, food and drink is a great combination for this cold and wet period of the year, so Edinburgh is in luck as Òran Mór's A Play, a Pie and a Pint returns to the Traverse after last year's successful run with a whole new series of plays.

Heaven is, however, a rather weak start to the series. While the ale quenches the thirst and the pie fills the gut, the play fails to satisfy. The piece is short, true, but this is no excuse for scanty nature of the plot and an odd and embarassing ending.

The acting was wasted on the threadbare script. Sean (Robert Jack) is a young man waiting at an airport when he is approached and interrogated by Kyle (Sean Scanlan). Scanlan is especially strong giving a rich voice and quirkiness to eccentric Kyle, while Jack does well with the little his character has to work with.

There are some interesting bits - a diatribe about rubbish and a eulogy to the east coast train line - but while I agreed with the characters and like the way they expressed these opinions, it was nothing that can't be heard down the pub.

The ending was strangely tacked onto the end with Jack bursting into song and the audience unsure what was happening and either giggling or squirming.

With food and drink included it was not a wasted experience and there are four more plays to come, including a Gregory Burke, so there will be plenty more chances to be fully satisfied.

Reviewer: Seth Ewin