In undertaking their first show, many theatre companies experience a learning curve, they find their limitation, learn how best they function, gain knowledge to take on to future productions and so on. And, if this is the case, and Crash Course Theatre’s first production is to be called that learning curve, then I would dearly love to see what their experienced shows will look like. Crash course brought Patrick Marber’s difficult to classify play to spectacular life, utilising a unique take on the challenging work, an interesting style of staging and a simply phenomenal cast.
The play is about 4 people, two men, two women, whose relationships over a period of several very stormy years. It is a fascinating story; man meets woman, man falls in love with woman, man meets and falls in love with another woman whilst with the first, man tricks other man into meeting up with the second woman, whom he then starts dating. This quartet of strangers begin a sexual square dance in which partners are constantly swapped, caught between desire and betrayal. The language used is sexually explicit and somewhat brutal, capturing the raw emotion of the scenes.
The actors too, gave complete justice to their characters. The first couple we meet are Dan and Alice, who have gone to hospital after Dan witnessed Alice being hit by a car. Dan, played by William Watt, is portrayed as a sweet, somewhat innocent character (at first), who becomes more and more possessive of the women in his life. Alice, played by Alex Jackson meanwhile, always gives off san air of having seen more than most and knowing exactly how the world works. They meet, flirt and begin to date, but this is upset by the arrival of Anna, played by Morgan Noll, an honest, yet intriguing individual, whom Dan is instantly smitten with. The characters share a unique dynamic, made complete when Anna (with the unconventional help of Dan) Starts dating Larry, a dermatologist with a sweet smile and somewhat dirty mind, played by Robbie Heath. The relationship between all 4 characters is highly volatile and never ceases to be engaging to the audience.
This play is not just an excellent piece of theatre, it is a fascinating insight into the human mind, examining the exact point where love becomes lust, becomes desire, becomes obsession, and can ultimately become dangerous. Each actor puts their heart and soul into the part, creating characters that we can go from sympathising with to despising in the blink of an eye. The Directors, Sean McGettigan and Lauren Ferguson treat us to an emotionally turbulent, yet highly poignant glimpse into the lives of 4 otherwise unconnected people. If this is the sort of thing Crash Course have to offer, then I for one cannot wait to see what they do next.
For more info on Crash Course theatre and Closer follow the link: https://gyoumagazine.wordpress.com/2017/10/22/whats-on-in-glasgow-theatre/
By Michael Cartledge