NY Review: 'A Slow Air'

NY Review: 'A Slow Air'

Tron Theatre Company at 59E59 Theaters as part of Scotland Week

By Suzy Evans

April 13, 2012


Photo by John Johnston
David Harrower’s “A Slow Air” lives up to its title in its leisurely pace. Part of Scotland Week at 59E59 Theaters, the jargon-filled, somewhat culturally specific two-character play about long-lost siblings may mystify New York audiences with some of its references. Still, the intimate tale of family and renewal finds a way to charm, if not always connect.

Morna and Athol live in Scotland. He owns a floor-tiling company, while she spends her days cleaning houses. A brother-sister spat separated the pair 14 years earlier, and now the link between them, single-mother Morna’s soon-to-be 21-year-old son, Joshua, might bring them back together.

Harrower writes in monologues, a form that works for most of the play but proves awkward in a key moment. As director, he uses a light hand, with minimal staging. The transitions between the estranged pair generally flow, but occasionally their stories butt up against each other. Jessica Brettle’s simple set divides the space clearly, right down to a change in the floor tiles, but the actors sometimes cross into each other’s area without discernible motivation, diluting the effect.

Lewis Howden and Susan Vidler deliver touching, sympathetic performances. Howden is positively huggable as Athol, possessing the overprotective instincts of a big brother and clearly communicating his character’s working-class background. Vidler keeps the jaded and stubborn Morna a step away from stereotype and finds a way to make her endearing despite her shortcomings. Brettle’s costumes complete the creations. Dave Shea carefully lights the monologues to enhance character and define setting.

Overall, the play is a pleasant piece of theater, but it won’t leave you rolling in the aisles or crying in your seats. It’s content to be what it is: 80 minutes of storytelling.

Presented by Tron Theatre Company as part of Scotland Week at 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., NYC. April 12–29. Tue.–Thu., 7:15 p.m.; Fri., 8:15 p.m.; Sat. 2:15 and 8:15 p.m.; Sun., 3:15 p.m. (212) 279-4200 or www.ticketcentral.com.


NY Review: 'A Slow Air'

Tron Theatre Company at 59E59 Theaters as part of Scotland Week

By Suzy Evans

April 13, 2012


PHOTO CREDIT
John Johnston
David Harrower’s “A Slow Air” lives up to its title in its leisurely pace. Part of Scotland Week at 59E59 Theaters, the jargon-filled, somewhat culturally specific two-character play about long-lost siblings may mystify New York audiences with some of its references. Still, the intimate tale of family and renewal finds a way to charm, if not always connect.

Morna and Athol live in Scotland. He owns a floor-tiling company, while she spends her days cleaning houses. A brother-sister spat separated the pair 14 years earlier, and now the link between them, single-mother Morna’s soon-to-be 21-year-old son, Joshua, might bring them back together.

Harrower writes in monologues, a form that works for most of the play but proves awkward in a key moment. As director, he uses a light hand, with minimal staging. The transitions between the estranged pair generally flow, but occasionally their stories butt up against each other. Jessica Brettle’s simple set divides the space clearly, right down to a change in the floor tiles, but the actors sometimes cross into each other’s area without discernible motivation, diluting the effect.

Lewis Howden and Susan Vidler deliver touching, sympathetic performances. Howden is positively huggable as Athol, possessing the overprotective instincts of a big brother and clearly communicating his character’s working-class background. Vidler keeps the jaded and stubborn Morna a step away from stereotype and finds a way to make her endearing despite her shortcomings. Brettle’s costumes complete the creations. Dave Shea carefully lights the monologues to enhance character and define setting.

Overall, the play is a pleasant piece of theater, but it won’t leave you rolling in the aisles or crying in your seats. It’s content to be what it is: 80 minutes of storytelling.

Presented by Tron Theatre Company as part of Scotland Week at 59E59 Theaters, 59 E. 59th St., NYC. April 12–29. Tue.–Thu., 7:15 p.m.; Fri., 8:15 p.m.; Sat. 2:15 and 8:15 p.m.; Sun., 3:15 p.m. (212) 279-4200 or www.ticketcentral.com.
 
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