The Match Box is a study of a mother pushed to extremes
- Gareth K Vile
- 8 February 2018
Frank McGuiness' 2012 monologue retains its relevance to contemporary Scotland
For director Richard Baron, The Match Box retains a contemporary relevance to Scotland despite having been written in 2012 and set on a remote island where the heroine, Sal, reflects on her past. 'It is a complete encounter with grief and the will to forgive,' he says of Frank McGuiness' monologue. 'There are powerful resonances of recent Scottish news stories about gang-related shootings.' Yet despite its theme of revenge, McGuiness' script is full of humour and ranges across private and public responses to a tragic event.
Produced by Firebrand, a company based in the Borders but committed to touring contemporary theatre across Scotland, The Match Box follows the events put into motion by the murder of a child. Sal has struggled with offering forgiveness but ultimately decides on placing herself outside the law and to take revenge. It's a demanding study of a mother pushed to extremes, using the intimacy of the solo performance to address large subjects such as guilt and the lure of violence.
Baron recognises traces of Samuel Beckett and Greek tragedy in McGuiness' writing, investing the intimate production with a grandeur and intensity that promises to reveal theatre's potential as a provocative location for examining the forces that drive people to a primal justice.
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Tue 13–Sat 17 Feb; Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 20–Fri 24 Feb.