WILD, uninhibited, uncomplicated
sex is happening to everyone but fish restaurateur Barney, as the
Sixties fly past him in his mid-life crisis in this Edinburgh Makars
of Neil Simon's comedy.
With Derek Melon as a deliciously-mournful
Barney, the company ensures that this is a funny but poignant
one man coping with his own failings as a husband – and the realisation
instead of playing away he just needs to look closer to home.
Set in Barney's mum's New York
apartment, the play follows his attempts to seduce three very different
Beldon is married man-eater Elaine, who has picked Barney for a
Nicola Shepherd plays hippy
Bobbi - wide-eyed and innocent of his real intentions. While Eileen
his wife's best friend, Jeanette, is his final attempt to get laid
Because Barney only has the afternoon off between the
lunch and dinner shifts in the restaurant, each act follows the same
allowing Melon to build his character slowly.
In the opening scene, when Barney
is at his most tentative, he takes his time making the flat look
exactly as it
should before Elaine arrives. Director Margaret Milne could have let
even longer over it. Each detail - putting his outdoor shoes on a
new glasses - adds to the character.
that opening does a put
greater demands on the person playing Elaine, however, as she then
enter as even more of a whirlwind. Irene Beldon was not, perhaps, that
whirlwind, although, she certainly had the look of a woman who was
forward to enjoying herself.
Bobbi has the most outrageous
lines, as she recounts her life of insane sexual encounters. Nicola
doesn't play her totally for laughs, but does allow that underlying
seep through. And the comedy gets even darker in the final scene, when
reveals that her own husband is being unfaithful.
Melon and Stout don't have the
wherewithal to take it quite as far into the dark as is possible, they