D C Jackson
Borderline Theatre Company
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, and touring
Daniel Jackson's The Ducky is the side-splitting sequel to 2008's The Wall. Set in the small Ayrshire town of Stewarton, the play follows the same group of characters two years down the line. Two years is a long time in a teenager's life. Two years is enough time to grasp the transitory nature of this earthly life, realise that the exotic climes of Cambridge and Glasgow are really no better than Stewarton and that even if the world is your osprey, you're still wearing the same tracksuit.
Stewarton's budget has been blown on CCTV cameras rather than a new leisure centre which sees the town's youths spending their time down the Ducky - the septic Stewarton swimming hole. The play opens with a humid looking set, a pair of knickers dangle from a branch as the dirty water swashes beneath. While the set - like the town - remains the same throughout, the characters grow and change as they accept the challenges thrown at them. Michelle attempts to cope with loss, Rab struggles to feel accepted, Norma wonders where her life if heading while Trevor and Cooney battle it out over a girl. Despite their separate woes, the characters unite in their disappointment that life isn't quite all its cracked up to be. They are all left longing for something more, something better, and, of course, struggling with their teenage hormones.
Although the play does not have a hard hitting storyline, the characters are brilliantly developed which creates a real sense of sympathy in the audience. Coupled with the excellent writing is excellent acting. Hannah Donaldson (Michelle), Finn den Hertog (Rab), Sally Reid (Norma), Alan Tripney (Trevor), and Jonathan Holt (Cooney) all deliver great performances. Combined with a constant stream of hilarious one-liners this show offers lively entertainment that scratches at the darker aspects of life.
Jackson says, "I always envisaged The Wall as the first in a trilogy" and the second instalment certainly does not disappoint. The Ducky keeps the audience laughing and offers a few twists on the way. Most importantly, the play leaves the audience hankering for more bring on part three.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow: 19th - 23rd May; Ryan Centre, Stranraer: 26th May; FTH Falkirk: 27th May; Macrobert, University of Stirling: 28th May; Rutherglen Town Hall: 29th May; Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline: 30th May; Arts Guild Theatre, Greenock: 3rd June; Byre Theatre, St Andrews: 4th - 6th June; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh: 10th - 13th June
Reviewer: Alison Burns