Theatre review: Threeway

Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Threeway at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), reviewed by Joyce McMillan

As the author of award-winning comedies The Wall and My Romantic History, Scottish playwright DC Jackson has a high reputation to defend, and a flair for dramatising contemporary twenty-something life in sharp one-liners with plenty of heart.

In this latest play, though, he somehow comes seriously unstuck in trying to explore the plight of 30-ish couple, Andrew and Julie, who try to enliven their sex lives by inviting a male “escort” called Mark to spend the night with them – only to find that, in the morning, they have all switched bodies, with Andy now being stuck in Julie’s body, Julie in Mark’s, and Mark in Andy’s.

There is something about this striking idea, though, that just fails to work as theatre. In the end, it’s just too confusing, as if some vital rule about the theatrical marriage between the visual and the verbal was being painfully broken.

To add to the chaos, Jackson seems uncertain whether he wants to write just another slick, potty-mouthed Fringe comedy about the joys of anal and oral sex; or whether he is trying to say something deeper about love and commitment, which even the finest cast – Gabriel Quigley, Brian Ferguson and Joe Dixon – cannot conjure up convincingly, out of a text so fraught with confusion and mixed messages.

MORE INFO: Threeway at Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33), 12:30pm until 26 August

Originally published in The Scotsman