Review of theater: Love lessons, Oran Mor, Glasgow, two stars

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Theatre

In Lust, Lessons

Oran Mor, Glasgow City

Brennan Mary

Two Sterne Stars

Sarah thinks her best friend has not learned any lessons about love because it looks like Jackie is about to fall back into the arms of Hammy – the fiancé who ran off to Brazil twenty years ago.

Forget passing Higher Romance, in the fundamentals of relationships, Jackie has not even received an A grade – which is what they should come down to, not least in terms of mutual confidence and respect.

Of course, questions arise here: has Hammy (Garry Sweeney) changed his style as a cavalier? Is there anything going to cause the amorous Jackie (Clare Hemphill) to do a reality check? Can Sarah (Kate Donnelly) manage, as truths are put on the table, to maintain their friendship? And – um – are we even involved in all of it?

Hemphill and Donnelly have already established themselves on the stage and radio as a comedy duo, writing and performing. This one-act play by Oran Mor, directed by Sarah McCardie, benefits from their partnership as sparring partners, but it’s difficult to find compelling complexity in the characters themselves, even as the fast patter flies back and forth.

Regarding Hammy? Well, from his first, shockingly garish appearance, Sweeney makes it plain that the guy is a shameless cheater — we can see that, but Jackie can’t or won’t. Jackie is still single and waiting for Mr. Second Best, while Sarah is married and has children.

Jackie’s common sense is thrown out the window by Hammy’s arrival, and her hopes to start her own company are quickly gone, like her life savings. Hammy’s Brazilian experience would have revealed warning signs about his financial failure had he been honest with family and friends – so should the better-informed Sarah have brought Jackie up to speed?

Maybe not, considering serious confrontations are eschewed in favor of more funny stuff about middle-aged (menopausal) women turning to qigong and gin to ward off fears of slipping into an unattractive and unloved age. Really? Really? Hmmm …

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