Naked Neighbour (Twitching Blind)
Tramway, Glasgow, Tue 27–Sat 31 Jan
Anyone who remembers Aruba, the engaging and whimsical Fringe hit of a couple of years back, which received five stars from this publication, will be interested in this coming piece at Tramway. Rob Evans, writer of this playful and gently satirical piece about the gap between our fantasy lives and the mundane and everyday world of quotidian existence is back as the director of a new piece which seems to incorporate a similarly thoughtful and sprightly approach to its subject matter.
In Naked Neighbour (Twitching Blind), Nick Underwood’s new play, we meet a man left so despondent at the end of a relationship that he turns to total isolation from the world. ‘He’s locked himself in his flat for months on end with jars of jam and loads of UHT milk,’ Evans explains. ‘His girlfriend has left, and he’s been watching Brief Encounter over and over again and it’s kind of seeped into his life. There’s a thriller side to it, too, as we begin to suspect that his girlfriend might be dead and locked up in the loft, so it’s kind of Brief Encounter meets Vertigo.’
For all the darkness of this story, there’s a commentary about love underneath. Our protagonist is visited by an undead soul who has fallen in love with the music the man composes. ‘The main character is obsessed with romance. But it’s also about accepting what’s gone wrong, and he finds that hard. If you keep your past locked up, you’ll never be able to have a new relationship in the present. You’ll always dream of the perfect relationship, and never move on. It’s about letting go of the past, which is hard to do.’ Add to this a certain element of satire in the shape of the purgatorial world the ghost has left, a massive shopping centre, and you have a mix of dark reflection and contemporary commentary on consumerism, which revolves around a series of songs delivered by the two hands of the cast. Expect some clever pastiche of thriller and love story.