Theatre review: Dirty Water
Edinburgh Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Dirty Water at theSpace @ Surgeons Hall (Venue 53), reviewed by David Pollock
Welcome to the team at Eager Beaver Cleaners: Boab, the shagger, who lives the dream because he stays with his mum for 50 quid a month at the age of 25; Brian, the aspiring actor who went to public school; the hipflask-wielding Crawford, “the da’ you never wanted”, always giving advice which may be interpreted as a “load o’ pish, the ramblings o’ a ravin’ alky”; and Jock, team leader, nervous new dad and former ladies’ man.
Written by John Stuart, who also plays Jock, this Glasgow-set comedy is a mixture of raw and guiltily funny chat of the sort working men make and a bit of genuine heart in their yearning for women and for self-respect.
“How do you explain this to your wee girl?” asks Jock with pitiful poignancy when the quartet are told to wear ludicrous beaver uniforms by their domineering female boss The Beaver.
These guys are on the outer fringes of their own manliness, masculinity eroded by their jobs even as they give it loud and sleazy about the attractive women who enter their orbit, most memorably Jennifer McErlane’s feisty barmaid Rachel (“I cannae believe out of ten million sperm you were the quickest,” she sneers at an out-of-his-depth Boab).
It’s well-acted, genuinely funny and authentically, laugh-out-loud funny in its scathing language, only one misjudged rape allusion in a joke striking a disappointingly sour note amidst a populist comedy which casts light on the diamonds in the rough.
Until 24 August. Today 8:10pm
Originally published in The Scotsman