Federer versus Murray, Assembly Hall, Edinburgh
Friday 12 August 2011
The Swiss master plays the Scottish hopeful in a Wimbledon semi-final, and laid-off lavatory-seat maker Jimmy Stewart is settling down for a sporting feast. His wife, Flo, is struggling to stay awake after a night shift at the hospital. And they haven't had sex for three years.
Gerda Stevenson – who also plays Flo – has written a taut and punchy one-hour play about marriage, nationalism, and saxophone playing. The couple have lost their son, killed in action in Afghanistan. Their front room is a new war zone.
The world changes with knock-on effect: heroin addiction in Russia has increased because of opium production in Afghanistan since the American and British intervention. Does this matter to Jimmy and Flo? "My son died for lies," wails Flo when the floodgates open.
It's a tragic situation, and Dave Anderson and Stevenson play it with stealth and restraint,. They sit down to watch the match and paint their faces in the national flags of Scotland and Switzerland. Meanwhile, their daughter is climbing Glencoe. Jimmy is more obsessed with the Matterhorn, and his fantasy becomes real in the last scene, movingly played as a sign of renewal; and he has picked up his sax once more.
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