REVIEW – Dig (A Play, A Pie & A Pint at the Traverse Theatre)


Katie Douglas gets the new A Play, A Pie & A Pint season at the Traverse off to a meaty start with her tight and emotionally-charged short play Dig, a character-driven piece directed by George Perrin which unearths how pride can be the most crippling sin of all.

In this co-production by Glasgow’s Òran Mór and new writing company Paines Plough, the lens is zoomed in on the strained relationship between unemployed Tommy (Stewart Porter) and his wife Brenda (Louise Ludgate). Sitting on his throne-like armchair, Tommy wrestles with his desire to protect his home and family, whilst never quite managing to find a job which meets his standards. When his estranged brother Dean (Simon Macallum) arrives bearing a peace offering, Tommy’s defiant moral stance is put under strain, and threatens to finally break.

Dig has a realistic and sympathetic tone, with Douglas refusing to take sides in the conflicts which develop. Porter’s portrayal of the embittered Tommy is convincing; as is Ludgate’s turn as his beleaguered wife: each evoke pity and compassion in equal measure, with Porter’s sympathetic portrayal of Tommy’s journey handled particularly well.

As it builds to its powerful conclusion, Dig deftly uncovers the emotions which lie hidden beneath the surface of our everyday lives; and the hope which can often be found growing there.

Dig runs at The Traverse until 15 October

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