JOYCE MCMILLAN on ONE DAY ALL THIS WILL COME TO NOTHING at the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, for The Scotsman, 4.10.14.
3 stars ***
THERE’S SOMETHING RAW and unresolved about Catherine Grosvenor’s 2005 Traverse play, now given a well-deserved revival at the Tron by the young Glasgow company Rekindle. It’s a 90-minute story set in the dark psychological badlands of loss, where two separate narratives unfold, and briefly converge. What’s more, the play not only examines the experience of loss, but somehow embodies it, in the strange, dazed flatness of much of the dialogue, and the sudden bouts of philosophical questioning – about meaning, rage, the purposelessness of it all – that sometimes break through its surface.
One Day All This Will Come To Nothing is essentially a play with three pairs of characters. There’s policewoman Anna, and a series of anonymous male figures whose presence emphasises the absence of her partner Mark, who has mysteriously disappeared. There’s bereaved east coast bar-owner Paul and the teenage boy he calls Adam, whom he has found trying to commit a kind of suicide in a nearby field; and there are Mark’s parents, Harriet and Martin, dealing with their grief through her stunned, hostile silence, and his desperate action. In this shoestring production by Scott Robert, Belle Jones gives a stunning central performance as Anna, haggard and stupefied by grief, but still doggedly asking why; and if the play leaves us wondering whether there’s any real point in gazing so insistently at a landscape of futility the bereaved already too know well, it sometimes also carves its own dark, edgy poetry, out of the almost unbearable.