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FlatSpin review at Pitlochry Festival Theatre – ‘plot hole-peppered comedy’

Gemma McElhinney and Christopher Price in FlatSpin at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Photo: Douglas McBride Gemma McElhinney and Christopher Price in FlatSpin at Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Photo: Douglas McBride
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This the second play in Alan Ayckbourn’s Damsels In Distress trilogy – all three of which are being revived at Pitlochry this summer. Staging them all in this way allows the audience to appreciate the flexibility of the same seven actors each playing three quite diverse roles, but at times this is more interesting than the plays themselves.

In FlatSpin, Gemma McElhinney – who played the wacky schoolgirl in GamePlan – plays Rosie, an aspiring actress, who not only loses out on the part of Jane Eyre, but is also unwittingly dragged into a drugs bust by the mysterious Maurice – played with cool menace by Owen Aaronovitch – the bad-tempered Tracy, and ladies’ man Sam.

Amanda Osborne plays drugs mule Edna, while David Mahoney is agile, loud and very brash as the useless bodyguard Tommy Angel, who is rendered unconscious by Rosie as he demonstrates his lightning reflexes. Stephanie Willson makes an important opening contribution as an over-the-top property agent.

All seven actors are enjoying their first season at Pitlochry, and are in good hands. The trilogy is the work of the theatre’s ‘dream team’ of director Richard Baron and designer Ken Harrison, responsible for many a hit at this venue.

Harrison’s set is another winner – a luxurious Docklands apartment that is redolent of so many featureless rented properties – a place to live but not a home.

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Verdict
Plot hole-peppered comedy enlivened by a capable cast
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