Elaine C Smith stars in David Greig-directed play This Wide Night at Citizens
Godot-like portrayal of two trapped women who need each other
David Greig is no stranger to tackling grand social taboos. His last play Dalgety, which recently performed as part of A Play, a Pie and a Pint, dealt with individual freedom and self-expression through naturism, while this latest production for the Tron sees him directing This Wide Night.
Chloe Moss wrote the piece in 2008, and Greig recently saw it performed in New York. ‘It’s about a beautiful relationship between an older woman and a younger one,’ he says. ‘They’ve both been in prison, but now they’re out and have to make their way. The younger one has life in her but is a bit chaotic, and while the older one had a kind-of status in prison, outside she is needy. These two women fit together: something made me think of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, these archetypes of people trapped, needing each other in the vastness of the world and wishing they were free. I’d never seen that with women before.’
Veteran Glaswegian comedy actress Elaine C Smith takes the role of Lorraine, alongside Jayd Johnson (best known as River City’s Nicki Cullen), as Marie. His choice of Smith was informed, he says, by her understanding of ‘the vulnerability of the clown. It’s one of those circumstances where a terrific comedy actor will dig for more depth than an actor coming from the other angle with something very precise.’ In the wake of ongoing investigations into Channel 4’s controversial documentary Benefits Street, the play takes a timely look at how criminalisation can undermine esteem and status.
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 20 Feb–Sat 15 Mar.