Face – Morag
HiPlay, Pie, Pint
Oran Mor, Glasgow
Script: Stagecraft: Performance:
A week after we met the feisty Isobel, a five star performance, playwright Peter Arnott introduces the world to her twin sister, Morag. How different their lives are: where Isobel married & had kids, Morag remained single & focused on her career as a Science Teacher; where 10-year-old Isobel blamed her sister when she got caught nicking sherbet from John Menzies, 10-year-old Morag said nothing; where 60-year-old Isobel has left her family to live it up in Dubai on borrowed money, 60-year-old Morag stays in Britain to focus on her career, although admittedly – ‘at the of end her disappointing, unfulfilled tether.’
This play sees the monologuing Morag give us all that information & more, a bitter sister caught in a dispute over the liquidation of their dead ‘mummy’s money.’ I didn’t see her first run out as these siblings incongruous, but I did feel keenly how well actress Janette Foggo brings to the optimum of reality Arnott’s characters. Their long-standing relationship had begun back in 1986 with the ‘Adventures of Thomas Muir’ at the Tron, & they seem a couple married to each others’ muses as their material & delivery remains invigoratingly accurate.
‘Is it alright if I sit here,’ asks Morag as she first enters the stage, ‘I wont disturb you.‘ But disturb us she did, running rough-shod over our deeply-buried ideas of death’s finality & life’s pointless carousel. Morag moans who way through the play with the high-brow eloquence enough to maintain our interest – one of the keystones of such theatre – holding us in her hands for a good fifty minutes, as if we were bartenders & she the only drinker in the bar, offloading her problems as she downed her JD & cokes. Though with Morag it was more like an Earl Grey & a wafer biscuit down the W.I.
There is something about the PPP plays that offers us windows into the lives of real people, which is a strength of its programming & support of local up & coming playwrights. With Morag, they have again hit the nail firm on the head, a piercing spike into the fibres of our existence that despite the odd uncomfortable moment, is a ravishing piece of reality. Arnott & Foggo should be really proud of this clever double-header.
Reviewer : Damo Bullen