Dealing with the post-prison travails of two former cell mates, Chloe Moss’s ‘This Wide Night’ is a play that deals with freedom in all its forms.
Director David Greig brings his usual Midas touch to the gritty drama set wholly in a rubbish-strewn Glasgow bedsit - a geographical and linguistic relocation from the original play’s English setting.
It’s the claustrophobic home of Marie (Jayd Johnson), an on-edge youngster who reaches for a knife or bottle whenever there’s a knock at the door.
The arrival of Lorraine (Elaine C. Smith), recently released from a 12-year sentence, is met with a mixture of pleasure and agitation.
Both are trying to secure a better future; Marie fighting to escape a past blighted by violence, while Lorraine attempts redemption by connecting with her long-lost son.
All the while, the two women’s relationship fizzes away, both unaware that each could offer exactly what the other needs if they could only let their respective guards down.
Johnson is remarkable as Marie, filled with nervous energy and a desperation that leaks out even when she’s determinedly putting on a happy facade.
Meanwhile Smith wears a more gallous mask of one-liners to hide her torment, as she slowly tidies up both the bedsit and her own life.
The staging is beautiful, with all the ingenious touches Greig has become known for, and emotional heft added by an original soundtrack from Ballboy’s Gordon McIntyre.
Bleak in places, but never without hope, it ends with a glimpse of sunshine at the end of a very long, dark tunnel.