Another Little Piece of My Heart

Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 5-Sat 10 Feb


‘Long live Janis Joplin.’ With this declaration, Suzy, one of the two central characters in Liz Lochhead’s new piece nails her colours to the mast. Now, before we go into the various clichés about flowers in hair, or untimely ends, bear in mind that Lochhead’s view of her 1968-set comedy is not about nostalgia.

Although she, like Suzy, was a student at Glasgow School of Art at the time, Lochhead is at pains to point out that the piece is neither biographical, nor misty-eyed. ‘It’s fascinating to hear that music again. Five years ago, it was painful to listen to Buffalo Springfield or Joni Mitchell. Now it’s like I was another person then, and I’m interested in that other person, rather than longing to be her. It’s like going beyond nostalgia, and that’s how I want the play to be‚’ Lochhead says.

Described as an Odd Couple, with mixed genders, the piece sees two young students thrown together in a tenement flat. ‘Suzy is a kind of up for it all art student and Nick is a literature and philosophy student; she feels he has a prissy side to him. A big bit of their sexual, political and artistic identity gets fixed. Nick discovers sex and Suzy discovers love,’ Lochhead explains. With Myra McFadyen returning to Scotland to play this youthful pair’s motherly landlady, there’s a good deal to recommend this piece, Lochhead’s first in a couple of years.

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