Freak review at Assembly George Square
Bruntwood prize-winning playwright Anna Jordan’s new play, a taut, raw but also warm two-hander, is about sexual exploration and self-discovery.
Two women stand on opposite ends of a tumbled, tangled Tracy Emin bed. One is a teenager, Leah – played by the endearingly perky April Hughes – who spends an inordinate amount of time Veeting and worrying about the imminent loss of her virginity. The older woman, Lia Burge’s Georgie, has reached a tipping point – she thinks of herself as tumour, tainted meat, something to be erased and so she uses sex as a weapon to inflict pain on herself, to do damage.
Jordan’s writing is vivid and punchy. There’s humour but also horror and Jordan isn’t afraid of mess, emotional and sexual, of spillage and secretions. Both performances are very well-judged, softening the play’s harder edges.
For most of its running time it takes the form of two separate monologues, but in the last scene the balance shifts and the two women finally address one another. The writing style changes too, becoming more conversational, and a play which hinges on a scene of debasement, ends up in a surprisingly gentle and hopeful place.