Websters Theatre, Glasgow
Instead of a core of instantly comprehensible characters experiencing minor disruptions to their lives before the status quo resumes, The Graduettes are instead defined by the increasingly ridiculous events writer and director Sean Wilkie throws at them, favouring escalating farce and crude set-pieces over tight dialogue. Performed with knockabout enthusiasm by Jennifer McErlane, Rachel Wile and Heather Haddow as the flatmates, with Neal Stewart Roxburgh and Atta Yaqub as idiot boyfriends, the script is contrived yet flabby.
It’s Christmas and the pregnant Sophie (McErlane) is fretting about meeting her prospective mother-in-law. But the factor in the girls’ apartment has been found murdered in their front room. Instead of reporting the body, Rachel (Wile) wants to solve the murder herself, instigating a creaking plot revolving around a kidnapped baby, hidden porn and creepy surveillance of their flat. Grace (Haddow) has decided she’s a lesbian for reasons too ridiculous to relate and projects a strong streak of Christian morality for no reason. As with Rachel being a cancer survivor, it merely seems an excuse for insults delivered with charmless waspishness, leaden gags driving character rather than the other way round. It culminates in a scene involving a policeman with his trousers round his ankles; that’s about the measure of The Graduettes’ subtlety.