Traverse Breakfast Plays: (in search of) Tomorrow - How Could You Slap a Girl?
Nick Rongjun Yu
In their efforts to source work from around the globe, the Traverse team has fallen upon this refreshingly quirky little play written by the prolific Nick Rongjun Yu from Shanghai.
Reading from the book but well directed by Rosie Kellagher, Frances Thorburn gives a fully developed performance orchestrating events as the Girl.
She has been the victim of a late night mugging and robbery and, when a young man played by Christian Ortega approaches, is unable to say anything beyond repeating the tearful mantra of the title.
We quickly learn that she has just quit a high-powered banking job because it was boring. The stolen money is her termination payment.
The young man was half of the mugging team but is anything but a sneak thief. Instead, he and his boss, played by John Paul Hurley are in the delivery business but times have been hard.
His sympathy for her predicament in scene one is matched by that of the other robber in the next
By now, viewers will have learned to be wary of what they are told, since the stories do not match up and every time that we have got the picture, it changes. Thus, the career of the Girl comes in three flavours, while the relationships shift from scene to scene too.
This makes for an odd but amusing and satisfying 45 minutes, which promises much as the opener for a week of six Breakfast Plays.
Reviewer: Philip Fisher