Review: ‘Prom’, Oran Mor, Glasgow

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L-R: Helen Mackay, Martin McBride, Nicola Roy and Ryan Fletcher.Photo by Leslie Black.

Prom night’s coming. One hundred cherries will pop like party balloons. French kisses will be given as confetti cannons go off. Heartbeats will sync to a shimmering pop synth line. Cue montage, in sun-dappled airbrushed perfection.

Aye,right ye are. In Scotland, we do things differently. With goats. In town halls. Here,it’s not just the sausage getting battered.

In flashback, Oliver Emanuel’s fearsome foursome (Nicola Roy, Ryan Fletcher, Helen Mackay and Martin McBride-all superb) have the vintage threads, and the naturalistic patter has them interjecting like a three-part harmony, but move as one catty unit. All are governed by an obsession with a beautiful school boy who is way out of their league, symbol of all they aspire to.

Gareth Nicholls’ snappy direction is a delight-a sharp, saccharine choreography. The quartet run out into the audience, asking for prom dates. “I can put ma whole fist in ma mouth”,pouts Nicola Roy to the men.

Soon though,the mood clouds over and we realise they’re not as popular-or as sweet- as they initially appeared. It’s here that Emanuel’s script is richest- the sense that school cliques are ingrained in all sectors of society.

Their obsession, now eating away like the desire to document everything on social media, and to cast aspersions on those they deem inferior, like goths and gay kids, becomes a sick game to them- but the details are sketchy . No-one is ‘fessing up.

But that’s okay, right?  It’s not like their target will be traumatised, haunted in his dreams. They’re just kids, with a spring in their step and a song to sing. Just daft kids.Right? Whatevs.

(Lorna Irvine)

In association with Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen Performing Arts.

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Photo: Leslie Black

 

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