‘Car crash’ doesn’t come close to describing the evening depicted in Martyn Hesford’s play ‘The Glass Supper’. It’s more like a 50-lorry pile-up.
When rough ’n’ ready Wendy, Steven and Jamie turn up – apparently unexpectedly – at the new country house of happily settled Marcus and Colin, it takes a while to work out how all these people are connected. Platinum blonde Wendy (ex-‘EastEnders’ star Michelle Collins) is a high-heeled bimbo, baby-faced Jamie (Alex Lawther) has an unsettling shifty, bitchy way about him and the hard-as-nails Steven (Michael Feast) looks like he might blow his top any moment. To say they don’t seem like the sort of people the anxious Marcus (Michael Begley) and charming Colin (Owen Sharpe) might hang out with, is an understatement.
Over the course of an exceptionally boozed-up evening, things get a smidgen clearer. We discover how Jamie and Steven are in a relationship based on secrets and violence. It turns out that booze- and drug-addicted Wendy is Steven’s ex-wife, while Marcus and Colin are struggling with their own demons. Eventually they begin to rage at each other and generally fall apart. It’s not very nice to watch.
In fact, the evening’s collapse is so quick and so fierce that we haven’t had time to work out if we really care whether these characters rip each other to shreds or not. Though the cast work well with what they’re given, and Collins and Lawther provide some respectable laughs in the first half, there’s barely any nuance to any of the roles.
Hesford’s play seems to be trying to say something about modern gay relationships, but there’s too much stereotype and too many attempts to shock for it to feel like anything more than a terrible TV soap opera performed at an overwrought fever pitch.
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