Friday, 13 September 2013

Fog

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
Three stars
Beneath a naked bulb in a top-floor high-rise in South London, a 
reunion is taking place. Cannon has been on an extended tour of duty 
for the last ten years ever since the untimely death of his wife. His 
now teenage children Gary and Lou have been in care ever since. Like a 
prodigal returning home from war, Cannon is going to make everything 
good again.

  Except both his children have been seriously damaged, both by his 
absence and the survival-of-the-fittest brutalisation of the system 
they've been forced to survive in. While Toby Wharton's Gary likes to 
play gangsta with his braniac mate Michael,beyond some small-time 
dealing, the lack of a male influence has seen him bullied and lacking 
focus. For Anna Koval's initially absent Lou it's been even worse. Both 
are desperate for love, but all Cannon knows is the violence of the 
boxing ring and the battlefield, and any bonds the three might have 
once had are just half-remembered memories now.

Co-written by sixty-something writer Tash Fairbanks and 
twenty-something actor Wharton, Fog is a street-smart study of everyday 
dysfunction that demonstrates how children's emotional and physical 
displacement from their parents at a crucial age can leave its mark. 
This may be taken to extremes in Che Walker's raw and unsentimental 
production for AGF Productions, first seen at London's Finborough 
Theatre in 2012, but there's an honesty to it that belies some of the 
play's structural flaws that leave too many loose ends hanging. By the 
end, however, when Mark Leadbetter's Cannon is attempting to abdicate 
responsibility a second time, it looks like Gary's crash course in 
growing up might just have paid off.

The Herald, September 13th 2013

ends

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