What Goes Around (3 stars)

What Goes Around

Liz Lochhead's sex comedy tries to find the G spot

Scots Makar Liz Lochhead's two-hander, directed by her long-term collaborator Tony Cownie, focuses on a troubled staging of Arthur Schnitzler's infamous 19th century play, La Ronde. Keith Fleming and Nicola Roy take on multiple roles – and the results are wildly variable.

Stories overlap, in small vignettes about sexual behaviour both off and on the stage. Rod, a smarmy thespian who wears his erudition like Lynx bodyspray, takes co-star, the seemingly feather-brained Ruby, for drinks and a fling ensues.

Fleming is excellent as swaggering handy man Rab on a B and Q booty call, or sweaty-palmed, shy Stephen. Roy is a less assured performer – her Ruby indistinguishable from similarly feisty character Natalie. There are meta in-jokes galore, with observations on directorial intervention, missed cues and tech walk-outs, but it feels a bit detached to truly engage. The lack of a theatrical money shot leaves a sense of being short-changed.

Still, some scenes shine. Fleming's lonely ready meal to REM's 'Everybody Hurts' is hilarious, awkward intial rehearsals are well-judged and the music, by Fleming himself – karaoke love songs deadpanned, a la Aidan Moffat on downers – a scream. 'Je t'aime … nah', he grunts. And there's always room for a strategically-placed Lecoq gag.

Touring throughout Scotland until Thu 8 Oct.

What Goes Around

Liz Lochhead's contemporary sex comedy featuring two actors playing seven characters.

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