Review – Most Favoured

Mar 7 2013 | By More

✭✭✭✩✩  Kentucky Fried Raunch

Gabriel Quigley and Richard Rankin in David Ireland's Most Favoured. Production photo © Play, Pie and a Pint

Gabriel Quigley and Richard Rankin in David Ireland’s Most Favoured. Production photo © Play, Pie and a Pint

Traverse Theatre: A Play, a Pie and a Pint
Tue 5 – Sat 9 March 2013
Review by Thom Dibdin

Satisfaction is not always a reflection of the absolute quality of what is on offer, as this constantly surprising a Play, a Pie and a Pint offering by David Ireland demonstrates most effectively.

It is a post-coital morning in an anonymous Edinburgh hotel room in the middle of the fringe. And Gabriel Quigley’s Glaswegian, Mary, is loved-up beyond ecstasy. Her night before, while just the latest in a succession of one night stands, has been exceptional.

Richard Rankin’s young American, Michael, is equally loved-up. His satisfaction comes not as a result of the previous night’s exertions, however, entertaining thought they might have been and willing though he is to repeat them. He’s getting his kicks from a tub of drumsticks – of the KFC, basted in many chemicals, variety.

Equally orgasmic stuff for both Mary and Michael. It’s just that their explosions of satisfaction, while simultaneously expressed, are not for the same thing.

And as Mary and Michael attempt to come to terms with each other’s likes, the reasons for their different levels of satisfaction fall out quite comfortably from Ireland’s plot. That you can see the twist coming long before it arrives matters not a jot – much of the pleasure lies in watching it emerge.

To this end, both actors put in wonderfully physical performances. Under Hamish Pirie’s tightly observant direction, they bend and stretch their characters to extremes – all the while keeping a real focus on the detail.

Mary is beautifully written and played. Her reasoning, as she paces in and out of the room, is succinctly put by Quigley. Her need to vocalise her status and describe her experience is both natural and outrageous. So that young Michael’s exasperation as he attempts to get on with his day is equally natural and logically developed.

Ireland even manages to get in some neat observations about the nature of pleasure and the appreciation of what is around you.

This might not be a perfect play, nor a perfect production, or even perfect performances, but all are absolutely right for what they are. And it certainly is a thoroughly satisfying and entertaining piece of lunchtime theatre.

Running time 45  mins
Run ends Saturday, 9 March.
Daily, 1pm.
Details on the Traverse website:

The rest of the a Play, a Pie and a Pint season:

Clean by Sabrina Mahfouz
Tue 12 – Sat 16 Mar, 1pm

The Commission by Steven Dick – winner of the Channel 4/ Òran Mór Comedy Drama Award
Tue 19 – Sat 23 Mar, 1pm


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