JOYCE MCMILLAN on DORAS DUINTE (CLOSED DOOR) at Oran Mor, Glasgow, for The Scotsman 22.10.13.
2 stars **
THIS WEEK’S LUNCHTIME PLAY marks a first, for David MacLennan and his Play, Pie and Pint team; the first Oran Mor play almost entirely in Gaelic, with English surtitles. Co- produced with Mull Theatre and Theatre Gu Leor, Catriona Lexy Campbell’s two-handed drama is set to tour next spring, as part of a double bill; and it would be good to be able to chalk it up as a roaring success.
In truth, though, Campbell’s play, in Muireann Kelly’s production, is bedevilled with unresolved problems of style and staging. There’s nothing wrong with the basic situation, in which a vulnerable young woman living alone in a remote house, and suffering from acute agoraphobia, is shocked to discover that her new lodger, Lindsay, is not a woman, but a handsome young male photographer. If this seems like the set-up for a sweet rom-com, though, the story soon darkens, as Lydia discovers that her misgivings are all too justified.
There’s plenty of potential here, and some real narrative tension. At the moment, though, the show suffers from bursts of seriously awkward, static acting, and hasn’t even begun to resolve the problems created by having the surtitles projected behind the actors, as they stand in fixed positions on stage. As for the ending, I won’t give it away. But trust me when I tell you that it’s abrupt, inept and inconclusive enough to make the whole play look foolish; more work needed, I think, before this show goes on the road.