JOYCE MCMILLAN on JEZEBEL at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, for The Scotsman 22.3.14. ________________________________________________________
3 stars ***
LAST WEEK, at the Tron’s upstairs Changing House, we saw a sex comedy blazing with coherence and purpose, in the shape of Johnny McKnight’s Wendy Hoose, about attitudes to disability and sex. This week, by contrast, we see a 85-minute sex farce from Dublin so utterly entranced by its own cleverness that it’s hard to attach any meaning to it at all; although that’s no reason not to celebrate the energy and wit with which the three-strong cast – one man, two astonishing women – deliver their weirdly implausible tale.
Written by Mark Canten, and staged by Dublin’s famous Rough Magic company, Jezebel tells the strange and – jokes apart – slightly depressing tale of Alan and Robin, a professional couple who strike up a relationship, but, eight months on, are struggling to keep the flame of sexual excitement alive. When they attempt an adventurous threesome with the depressed and ditsy Jezebel, though, the statistically almost-impossible happens; and both Robin and Jezebel become pregnant on the same night.
Cue an increasingly elaborate and unlikely chapter of misunderstandings, as first Alan and then Robin find out about Jezebel’s pregnancy, but fail to tell the other what they know. The conclusion is ear-bustingly loud and enjoyably ecstatic, as the women give birth simultaneously in a Dublin hospital. As drama, though, the play has long since left the realms of social satire and soared off into the utterly unbelievable; leaving the audience more mildly amused than helpless with laughter, and – at least in my case – just a little bit bored.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, final performance tonight.