Lessons in Love

IMG_1899i Clare Hemphill Garry Sweeney Kate Donnelly.jpg

Oran Mor, Glasgow
Feb 24 – 29, 2020

Script: four-stars.png Stagecraft: four-stars.png
Performance: five-stars S.O.D.:four-stars.png

The set for today’s play, Lessons in Love, included a green backdrop with a plush looking couch and cushions, plus a table and chairs. This comedy starred writer Kate Donnelly as Sarah a woman on the hunt for spirituality and co-writer Clare Hemphill as her friend Jackie. The two were long-time friends as indeed was Hammy Hamilton, played by Garry Sweeney, who loved to gamble and was a big football fan.

Sarah strode onto the small lunchtime stage in joggers and slipper boots, doing her Qigong and spouting forth about her long-held attitude to life and its wonders. Joined by Jackie, the two soon engaged in what was their familiar ongoing conversation about their shared life experience; all of which being filled with the passions they shared. Before long Hammy was mentioned, revealing that in fact that Jackie was engaged to him.

IMG_1913i Kate Donnelly.jpg

Hammy’s entrance transformed the room to laughter as he made his appearance dancing a little jig to music. It transpired that Hammy had once ditched his fiancé to go and see the Scotland football team play Brazil – in Brazil! Hammy had always and still did defend the importance of the match (it was a world cup qualifying game). In an emotional scene he also admitted to have gambled an amount of money that he had borrowed from Jackie who now desperately needed it back.

Jackie confessed to Sarah that she’d been intimate with Hammy and felt that the love she bore him was big enough to forgive him, somewhat to her friend’s dismay. But the two women decided to have some fun with him first, with Jackie prancing around the stage in sunglasses and a neat leather jacket. Hammy revealed more and more of himself to us in his conversations with Jackie and as they sat together it was clear how familiar they were and had nothing to hide – in fact despite everything they had nothing but love for each other.


There were no definitive lessons learned here, but perhaps that was the lesson in itself; that we never really can know how and why things will turn out. With vivacious performances from the cast of three, this endearing play explored the intimacy between people and the sometimes surprising way relationships work out.

Daniel Donnelly


Posted on February 25, 2020, in Scotland. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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