Number One Fan
- Lorna Irvine
- 12 September 2019
Kim Millar farce proves you can't keep a good woman down
It is textbook stuff. When menopausal Jan (Joyce Falconer), an outspoken woman on the brink of fifty, is dumped by her long-term partner Andy (David McGowan) for a younger woman, she becomes obsessed with a boorish journalist, whose column suggests all women over forty are past it, and heads out in her best red dress to attempt to first honey trap, then enact revenge on, said misogynist writer for the sake of womankind. Not only this, but her cat Pickles has just died.
Kim Millar's farce is sketched out with cliches, a few reductive gender observations, and does rather stretch the characters beyond credibility (the columnist has feelings and insecurities like her? Who knew?) but is nonetheless bolstered by a fine cast. Falconer is as always absolutely superb: her brilliant reactions, baby doll parody and energy are endlessly entertaining, and she is given some wonderfully vinegary one-liners.
Callum Cuthbertson gives good weasel as columnist Jack Bonham in his cravat and suit, using his best swagger and sad seduction techniques, while McGowan brings a sliver of vulnerability to an otherwise selfish man.
In the age of discourses following on from the #MeToo movement, there is a lot of theatre which interrogates the agency and space of the older woman. Number One Fan isn't about this, but nor does it aim to be. It's traditional, broad comedy which aims for the funny bone rather than the brain. It's all amusing and likeable enough, in spite of the well-trodden ground.
Oran Mor until Sat 14; Lemon Tree, Aberdeen Mon 16–Sat 21 Sep; Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Mon 23–Sat 28 Sep, playpiepint.com