3 stars ***
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33)
As the author of award-winning comedies like The Wall and My Romantic History, Scottish playwright D.C. Jackson has a high reputation to defend, and a flair for dramatising contemporary twentysomething life in slick one-liners with plenty of heart. In this latest play, though, he somehow comes seriously unstuck, in trying to explore the plight of a 30-ish couple, Andrew and Julie, who try to enliven their sex lives by inviting a male “escort” called Mark to spend the night with them, only to find that in the morning, they have all switched bodies, with Andy now stuck in Julie’s body, Julie in Mark’s, and Mark in Andy’s.
There’s something about this striking idea, though, that just fails to work as theatre; in the end, it’s just too confusing, as if some vital rule about the theatrical marriage between the visual and the verbal was being painfully broken. And to add to the chaos, Jackson seems uncertain whether he wants to write just another slick, potty-mouthed Fringe comedy about the joys of anal and oral sex; or whether he’s trying to say something deeper about sex, love and commitment, which even the finest cast – Gabriel Quigley, Brian Ferguson and Joe Dixon – cannot conjure up convincingly, out of a text so fraught with confusion and mixed messages.