Passing Places by Stephen Greenhorn, has always been on at the wrong time or in the wrong place for me so I was really glad to be able to catch it last Saturday evening at Pitlochry.
It did not disappoint. Richard Baron’s fast moving direction made excellent use of the unusual set by Adrian Rees.
The programme note by Baron refers to the different aspects of Scotland the play tackles such as “geography, its industry, history, and ethnicity,” One thing, however, I found in the play was an underlying hymn to the break-up of family and the reconstituting of ‘family’ for those abandoned or ejected.
Alex seems to have no Dad. Brian had a mum, who destroyed his life-changing project, but she dies, Mirren has a dad and no mum either. Mirren’s dad has no wife and now his daughter can’t bear to live with him. The villain, Binks, has a mum he clearly adores in the sentimental way that gangsters are often portrayed as doing. How did they get so far off the rails, then?
There’s no sense that Greenhorn is advocating the ubiquitous ‘family values’ beloved of desperate politicians, but there is a strong sense of how people fit in. It’s a poignant moment when Diesel tells Mirren she’s not right for his commune.
Coming of age was never more beautifully depicted – oh, and that’s an important word in this script.
Dates until Friday 17th October 2014. Treat yourself, and the family, whoever they are.