Thursday, July 18

Rage Room – Traverse Theatre

Writer Mhairi Quinn, one third of Tandem Writing Collective, returns with a rewritten and expanded version of her new play, Rage Room, following on from an original 20 minute read through at the same venue one year ago. This is part of a series of three new plays under the collective title of Rock, Paper, Scissors, developed with funding from Creative Scotland.

Still at workshop stage we are treated to a script-in-hand performance by a trio of fine actors. Kim Allen as the 35-years-old socially inept, introverted daughter April, Natalie Arle-Toyne as the domineering and critical mother and Betty Valencia as Jos, the younger daughter, a socially successful feminist podcaster with thousands of followers.

Allegedly, the ‘Number 1 Feminist Podcaster for Glasgow and West of Scotland’, Jos Mitchell has dragged her blindfolded mum and older sister, under false pretences for a surprise night out. But when they open their eyes their expectations for a pamper night at a Spa hotel are sadly mistaken. Instead of massages and facials they are handed a baseball bat and asked to take out their anger and pent up emotions on some of the detritus of ‘stuff’ which inhabits their pointless lives. Jos has even been so kind to bring the ‘stuff’ that her mother and big sister no longer need.

Valencia is excellent as the pouting and predatory, content maker who sees no problem at all in feeding off her own mother and her vulnerable and fragile older sister. But has she crossed the line this time and what happens when the tables are turned, and the centre of her own life is put on the chopping block?

A damning indictment on the throw-away culture we live in today, where young people’s lives are tallied by the numbers of followers, and the ties that bind are only a click away from being deleted.

Darkly funny and thought provoking, although still rough around the edges.

There is a strange funding dilemma visible here, where the limited funding by Creative Scotland is of course gratefully accepted by all involved, but simply not enough to allow things to really flourish. Here is a handful of seeds of ideas when what is really needed is a tractor to plough some deeper furrows.

Reviewer: Greg Holstead

Reviewed: 27th April 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
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