An Apple A Day **

‘Sex is the most tedious of all professions.’  So says the character She in An Apple A Day.  Unfortunately, this bit of wisdom sums up the production.

‘She’ is a transgender prostitute; ‘He’ is a risk-assessment manager who works for the church.  The action takes place in real time and is set in She’s bedroom, a set characteristic of every stereotype one has of what a prostitute’s bedroom must look like.

One can’t fault either Crawford Logan as the earnest He or David Walshe as the complicated She.  Both play their roles well and find a nice balance between humour and dignity.  It is easy to feel sympathy, and a twinge of disgust, for both of these characters, and both roles could easily have been played to clichéd perfection.  Neither actor takes the easy route, which in turn rewards the audience with some surprising moments.

Unfortunately, Jo Clifford has taken the easy route with her script.  This does not feel like the work of an accomplished playwright but instead a novice who has an ear for clever dialogue.  There are some rather good lines but the characters she presents are worth a much more in-depth and darker play than this.  There are some great ideas at hand: taking risks, sexual guilt and revulsion, the seeds of commerce dictating life choices and personal acceptance, be it in one’s sexuality, character or profession.  None of these themes bare ripe fruit, and instead most of the action seems intent on getting easy laughs based on the uncomfortable nature of the situation.

An Apple A Day is not a bad play, but it is a lazy one.  Writer Jo Clifford and her characters are better than the missed opportunity presented here.

Originally published at Onstage Scotland.

At Oran Mor until April 11, then at the Traverse from April 14-18.

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