Travesty at Assembly George Square
Anna and Ben are a normal couple, going through normal relationship dramas. The trick with this production comes with the casting. In Travesty, the debut play by acclaimed stand-up comic Liam Williams, Anna is played by a man (Pierro Niel-Mee) whilst Ben is played by a woman (Lydia Larsen).
As we follow the couple through four significant stages of their affair – a one night stand and the first “I love you” being two of these examples – we witness all of the strengths and flaws within their relationship. Both characters exhibit some tired gender clichés, however, they are written in such a way that this does not feel entirely predictable.
The simple stage setup of a double bed allows for more attention to be given to the acting, and the intensity of both Niel-Mee and Larsen’s performances. Both are extremely skilled in their roles, right down to the subtlety of their actions, and after a short while it is easy to forget the switching of sexes and simply immerse yourself in the realism of the love story. This is a tale that will ring true with many young adults and, although both Anna and Ben display some less than ideal characteristics, this only adds to the realism of who they are and what they are going through.
The transitions between scenes are expertly handled, keeping viewers captivated rather than drawing them out of the story. Whilst a couple of sequences feel slightly longer than necessary, there is no indication that they had outstayed their welcome, and the audience were still laughing and rooting for the couple right until the end.
Photo: Claire Haigh
Travesty is at Assembly George Square from 3rd until 28th August 2016, for further information or to book visit here.