Oran Mor, Glasgow, until Sat 10 May
The thriller format that we’ve come to associate with Alma Cullen’s film and television work in such programmes as A Touch of Frost and Inspector Morse is abandoned in her latest play for a more reflective, if entertaining style. Death Story sees a recently deceased woman engaging with accounts of her life given by both her husband and former lover. They can neither see nor hear her, but the woman’s comments on their versions of past events are crucial.
‘It’s about biographies being lies,’ Cullen explains. ‘Information conveyed to the public is often to do with selection, people forget the truth, embroider it, and put themselves in the picture when they weren’t there to give themselves a bigger part than they deserve. I think things like jealousy, pride and shame come into play as well.’
What emerges is a story of two relationships, neither of which is quite what they seem at the outset. Cullen is complimentary about Play, Pie and Pint’s lunchtime theatre format, feeling that the short running time required is an advantage to a writer, not a limitation. ‘I never think of a play as being a one-act play; I think of it as being a play. A couple of the plays I’ve done before for Play, Pie and Pint are three-act plays, fitted into the time. It’s tremendously liberating to be given 45 to 50 minutes to say whatever you want.’