JOYCE MCMILLAN on FAITH FALL at Oran Mor, Glasgow, for The Scotsman 16.10.12
4 stars ****
FOR nine-tenths of its length, Frances Poet’s new play for three voices is about as perfect a show as you could hope to see, in the lunchtime Play, Pie and Pint season. It brings together three searingly vivid characters; there’s Christina, a beautiful young woman with terminal cancer, a cynical young journalist called Adam who falls in love with her despite himself, and an older man who seems to be the minister at a nearby church.
The problem is that as the relationship between Adam and Christina deepens, he becomes convinced that he is being stalked by Satan, a kind of sleazy onlooker who knows all about his cheap initial reasons for taking on a woman without a future. The story of his growing obsession is brilliantly delivered straight to the old-fashioned mike, in a strikingly polished production by Graham McLaren that features three terrific performances from Molly Taylor, Gareth Glen and Benny Young. And despite the format – with all the actors in evening dress, like the cast of a 1950’s BBC radio play – there are searingly theatrical moments of interaction between the three, as vivid as they are sharply-written.
Sadly, the show is undermined, at the end, by a jokey supernatural twist which suddenly strips away the rich layers of possible meaning around which the story is built. But for as long as we can feel we are really learning something about fear, grief and loss, and the tricks they can play on a mind surprised by love, this is a play well worth watching, presented with terrific flair.