Seven Miles from Fortune City
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Thu 6 Dec
Given that some of Louise Ironside’s earlier work dealt with prostitution in issue-based drama such as Risk and Trade, you might expect her new piece to run along similar lines. But you’d be wrong. ‘There were these characters that I came up with in the course of other projects that kind of bugged me by not fitting in. A slightly pathetic policeman with no gumption, an east European matriarch, and an orphan-like girl,’ says Ironside. Her solution was a very different kind of play, a piece that used the Eastern European sex trade as a background, but was more character driven and comedic than the average piece of social realism.
Ironside stresses that the political elements of the play are relevant, but story is foregrounded. ‘A young girl arrives to set off a series of events, so that the whole structure of this dorm in a brothel disguised as a lap dancing club begins to collapse. There is a farcical element to the play, but it’s a very dark, gallows humour. It could take place in any environment where people are confined against their will and life is cheap.’ Ironside, whose work has been seen less frequently in the theatre of recent years, mainly due to television commitments with such projects as River City will make a welcome return with this rehearsed reading.