PPP: I’m Dissolving My Love In A Bath Of Acid

March 16, 2022 | By More

★★★☆☆     Absurd

Traverse Theatre: Tue 15 – Sat 19 March 2022
Review by Hugh Simpson

Oozing with comic brio, I’m Dissolving My Love In A Bath Of Acid at the Traverse is a wonderfully performed and energetic if ultimately superficial piece.

The latest Play, Pie and a Pint offering from Oran Mor, I’m Dissolving My Love… is DC Jackson’s first stage play for 8 years and has a blend of comedy and horror that is undoubtedly skewed towards the comedic side.

Alison O’Donnell and Grant O’Rourke. Pic: Jonny Scott

Mass murderer David John’s release from prison on a technicality sees him coming to live with April, the woman he married while he was still in prison, and her sister May. May is initially worried about having him stay, but April seems to have her own reasons for wanting a killer around.

There is no doubt that Jackson’s play aims for the ‘none darker’ category of dark comedy, with a huge (if largely offstage) body count. It certainly isn’t for everybody; anyone who balks at the idea of jokes about Harold Shipman or Frederick West should steer clear.

In truth, it is not nearly as offensive or worrying as a bald description sounds, as the primary-coloured, ludicrous nature of the script makes it strangely childlike and largely bloodless (in more than one sense).

bizarrely lovable

Where the production does score highly is in the quality of the performances. Grant O’Rourke is excellent as the ‘partially mentally befuddled and wholly easily led’ David John.

That a character who continually murders before dissolving his victims in acid could come across as so bizarrely lovable is largely down to his extraordinary comic gifts. His double act with Alison O’Donnell’s bullish April is particularly strong.

Irene Allan and Grant O’Rourke. Pic: Jonny Scott

Irene Allan’s May shares the same nous and timing; there is one sequence of absurdly comic horror that is beautifully done by all three participants with the minimum of fuss.

Mark Thomson’s direction helps considerably, ensuring that the pace is fast and opportunities for humour are maximised.

The bright, breezy and thoroughly professional approach of all concerned actually tends to work against the production at times. What could have been a more schlocky, scuzzy and gory affair ends up being something reassuring and almost cosy.

This is magnified by any opportunities for real character development being squandered, with the whole thing having the oddly detached feel of so many plays that are about murder.

Nevertheless, there is enough spark and laughter in this ridiculous affair to satisfy.

Running time 55 minutes (no interval)
Traverse Theatre
, 10 Cambridge St, EH1 2ED
Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 March 2022
Daily at 1.00 pm
Information and tickets: Book here.

Irene Allan and Grant O’Rourke. Pic: Jonny Scott

ENDS

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