Aug 20 2015 | By More

✭✭✭✩✩   Lacks spark

theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39): Sun 9 – Sat 29 Aug 2015

Some fine young performers feature in New Celts and Nook N’ Cranny’s production of Gregory Burke’s black comedy Hoors, but it never quite hits the heights.

On the day he was to be married, Andy is instead being buried, after a stag do that went a little too far. His fiancée Vicky seems less than distraught, and more interested in Andy’s friend Stevie. Vicky’s sister Nikki and Stevie’s friend Tony make up the quartet, any of whom frankly could be the ‘hoors’ of the title.

Hoors. Photo: Twitter

Hoors. Photo: Twitter

There is a smattering of dark humour here, but it there is also a desire to shock that becomes tiresome. If you are horrified by the notion of a line of cocaine being chopped out on a coffin, you would find this an extremely controversial piece, but it is flimsy compared to some of Burke’s other work.

There is little of the political or philosophical significance of Black Watch or Gagarin Way – and any profundity remains hidden in a production that lacks real depth.

This is not the fault of the cast, who are largely very good. Vocally, Marc Elliot (Stevie) is nothing short of brilliant, capturing to perfection a particular type of bampot. However, the effect is diminished by his onstage awkwardness seeming to come from the actor rather than the character.

underplays effectively

Sarah Stewart’s Nikki and Amy Lowe’s Vicki succeed in different ways; Stewart’s is a harsher, more heightened performance, while Lowe underplays effectively.

Joe Yaffle is less convincing as Tony, with it straining credulity to see him as a superficially charming sexual predator.

John Stewart’s simple set works well, and is cleverly used by Aydan Tair’s direction, although the breaks between various scenes are rather clumsily signalled.

There is never really enough pace or energy in the various exchanges to elevate this above the ordinary, but it is a solid production with some promising performers.

Running time 1 hour 5 minutes
theSpace on the Mile (Venue 39), 80 High St, EH1 1TH
Sunday 9 – Saturday 29 August 2015
Odd dates only at 2.30 pm
Book tickets on the EdFringe website: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/hoors
Nook’n’Crannie website: nookncrannyproduct.wix.com


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