Double Nugget - Mary Massacre and Seven Year Itch
A dark comedy that's too light and a play for for a rewrite
Lovers of Johnny McKnight’s brand of pathos-laden, observational comedy will find some moments to enjoy in Mary Massacre (such as a sullen, gossipy sales assistant in Argos or the dubious joys of online dating). However, the twin track monologues of unhappily married Jenny and lonely optimist Leyla lack the comic consistency of McKnight’s past output (such as the Little Johnny trilogy). More importantly, perhaps, this dark comedy is too light to carry the tragic twist of its dénouement.
The less said about its companion playlet, Seven Year Itch, the better. A supposed true life story of religious homophobia and homicidal resentment in a Chicago office, wrapped inside an absurdist Glasgow office comedy (complete with Dolly Parton as God), contained within a knowingly postmodern theatrical in-joke, it demands some virtuosity from its two-strong cast (Julie Brown and Martin McCormick). However, when the kind of single-entendres that one might (possibly) find funny at the end of a drunken party (the Glasgow office workers are called Jenny Talia and Drew Peacock) find their way into your play, you really should consider a rewrite.
Touring Scotland until Sat 10 Mar; Seen at Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 15 Feb