“Get me the fuck off this plane
Or allow me to remain humane”
Following on from the success of The Me Plays at the Old Red Lion and in/out (a feeling) here at the Hope earlier this year, Andrew Maddock’s The We Plays reaffirms his status as an exciting new playwright and one with an innate appreciation of what a monologue can do. The We Plays is made up of two stories, with two directors, but united by Maddock’s understanding of what it means to be young but not necessarily sorted in contemporary society.
Cyprus Sunsets reintroduces the character of Me, a young man larging it from the minute we walk into the room as he sets off on a trip to the Mediterranean island, loaded with far more significance than we might ever suspect; Irn Pru is told from the perspective of none other than Prucilla Elizabeth Ally McCoist a Wee Dash of Salt N’Pepa Leigh, a feisty Glaswegian battling a tough job market among various other demons that gradually reveal themselves.
What’s interesting is that the commonalities between the pair are just as fascinating as the differences. John Seaward’s Me speaks in the lyrical loops of epic verse where Jennifer O’Neill’s Pru is more punchy than overtly poetic, directors Phil Croft and Ashley Winter each finding an individual energy to tease out from their performers. But both beautifully explore the bravado and bluster they feel they have to present to the world, that thin veneer of confidence to swagger through town centres and nightclub dancefloors, so easily stripped away by the brutal reality of life.
As heart-wrenching as they get (and Seaward tugs brilliantly at the tear ducts), Maddock isn’t interested in poverty porn, rather he alights on the resilience of the human spirit and how – no matter how difficult it is to find it – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel whether in internal strength or external support.