Lost and Found

Aug 23 2023 | By More

★★★★☆      Buzzy

Just the Tonic at The Caves (Venue 88): Fri 4 – Sun 27 Aug 2023
Review by Hugh Simpson

The Counterminers’ Lost and Found at Just the Tonic at The Caves fairly crackles and fizzes with life. Humorous and heartfelt, it heads into some well-trodden territory at times, but always has enough that is novel to make it a joy.

Molly Keating’s play deals with a group of young women out and about in Glasgow, hometown of Maeve (Megan Gall), the central character, who has invited her more well-heeled English friends from university to stay.

Megan Gall, Annie Ferguson, Jemima Jayne and Lucy Melrose. Pic: Charles Ames

In one sense the events of the story – dancing, drinking, mislaying phones – are thoroughly inconsequential; in another way they are the most important things in the world to the characters. There is also a storyline about Maeve’s reluctance to commit to any kind of relationship with Jaz (Noor Kabbani), but – while this is portrayed emotionally and honestly – it never quite seems integrated with the rest of the play’s comic wanderings.

The comedy does rely heavily on traditional views of Glasgow – both positive and negative – but these are used wisely and energetically in Keating’s constantly fresh and funny dialogue. Juliet Gray’s direction is inventive and sparky, with some nightclub scenes (often a terrible letdown on stage) that are unusually well done.


At the play’s centre, Gall displays splendid timing, great awareness and a rapport with the audience that echoes the best Scottish variety and pantomime traditions; this is a performance of immense charm and huge potential.

Annie Ferguson has a similar comic impact as Maeve’s old school friend Hannah; Lucy Melrose and Daisy Casemore, as the more well-heeled English visitors Abby and Dylan, also bring poise and humour.

Noor Kabban and Megan Gall. Pic: Charles Ames

The storyline about Maeve and Jaz – friends who are always on the point of becoming something more, but only whenever Maeve is drunk – is given credibility by Kabbani’s performance, which has just the right degree of wounded sincerity. Jemima Jayne, as Lara, another long-time friend, is given very little to do, but adds to the show’s impressive ensemble dynamic.


Oscar Bryan and Matt O’Malley provide a series of roles that have considerable humour, although they tend towards the cartoonish and rely too much on the dubious comic potential of exaggerated accents.

This does not matter, as the production is all about its female cast, and the confidence, doubts, secrets and self-exploration that they depict so successfully.

Running time: One hour (no interval)
Just the Tonic at The Caves (Just The Fancy Room), Niddry Street South, EH1 1LG (Venue 88)
Friday 4 – Sunday 27 August 2023 (4 -12 even dates, 15-27 odd dates)
All dates: 6.10pm
Tickets and details: Book here.

Counterminers links

Company website: https://counterminers.co.uk

Instagram: @counterminers

Facebook: @TheCounterminers

Twitter: @counterminers

Megan Gall, Annie Ferguson and Lucy Melrose. Pic: Charles Ames



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