Writer: Elinor Cook
Director: James Grieve
Reviewer: John Kennedy
Elinor Cook’s life-affirming, celebratory love-letter to childhood innocence, inseparable friendship, parental break-ups, adolescent angst and amazement, not least, teenage clumsy fag and bike-shed fumbling are the stepping-stones of Lorna and Grace’s lives. The play’s title has teasing ambiguities. Out of their love, any later nuance of gay affection, seems almost trivial, comes a tear-wrenching denouement. Theirs is a love that can never run out.
Told through episodic revisited time-shifts, theirs is an interchanging passive/aggressive friendship. Perhaps Laura is more the follower. Grace, rough diamond, true dare, double-dare, love, kiss or promise try anything once – the more assertive.
Men play their parts for good or ill, for the most part they’re just passing through that in no way diminishes Cook’s crafted script and characterisation. Of the many loyalties that bind them, both extract mortal promises that neither will let the other stay and decay in the post-industrial ennui of their unnamed neighbourhood somewhere in Wales. From the outset, it’s evident that Lorna has left their dead-end street for a junior position at a flourishing publishers. But what of Grace on the threshold of her dreams?
Grace has assiduously amassed an under-the-bed cache of over £900. No mean sum at that time. They are both set to go to university, at the peril of having a biro stuffed down her gullet, Lorna promises Grace she won’t let her talk herself out of it. But being three months gone changes everything.
Wickedly vibrant, a gloriously ribald sum of its intimately explored private parts, Out Of Love combines shamelessly kitsch and tell kitchen-sink comedy with heart pumping pathos. The sell-out Roundhouse proves that the Fringe grapevine bears the sweetest fruit yet again. Deliciously shocking – these girls bawdily go where no man has the faintest clue.
Runs until August 2017 | Image: Contributed