'Heaven offers a glimpse of an encounter in one of those modern circles of hell'
So says the blurb about this latest show at Oran Mor's 'A Play, A Pie and a Pint' (and the first in a series of five plays co-produced with the Traverse in Edinburgh). Damn right it does! Just not in the way writer Simon Stephens and director Dominic Hill intended.
Hell? Hell? I'll tell them about Hell. Hell is...
- Arriving at Oran Mor to discover that the usual macaroni pie option has been replaced by quiche.
- Being left unsure if a character is struggling for words or if the actor is grasping for his lines.
- A play that repeatedly goes off on obviously 'meaningful' tangents without any obvious meaning.
- Seeing powerful moments from Sean Scanlan and Robert Jack suffocated by an unfocussed script.
- A story that ends with a whimper just as it starts to look as if it might go bang.
- A closing musical number that comes completely out of the blue and bears little relation to what has gone before.
- Realising the 45-50 minute play you expected to see lasted barely 30 minutes
- Having too much respect and integrity to completely cop-out and just describe it as 'challenging' or 'intriguing'.
- Going home desperately trying to find something, anything, to say about it that won't get me barred from next week's show.
Heaven runs at Oran Mor until Saturday 27th and then at the Traverse from 2nd to 6th March
Image by Leslie Black used with permission