Theatre review: There Is Someone Who Hates Us, Oran Mor, Glasgow

CATE and Maria met in Scotland, fell in love, and have now returned to Maria's home city in Brazil to spend some time living in a dilapidated flat owned by her once-wealthy family.

Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Contributed
Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Contributed

There Is Someone Who Hates Us | Rating: **** | Oran Mor, Glasgow

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It’s never quite clear why they imagined that life in Sao Paulo would be easier than in Glasgow; from the state of the water supply and the exhausting heat to the general climate of opinion about gay relationships, things seem tougher there. And they become even more difficult when a neighbour starts to threaten them in their flat, not only making them aware of the homophobic hatred all around them, but provoking a crisis of trust in their relationship.

So far, so straightforward; but there’s a surreal, dream-like edge to Michelle Ferreira’s 2011 play, produced by A Play, A Pie And A Pint with the National Theatre of Scotland in a new English version by Lynda Radley, that takes us deep into the conflicting rhythms of Scottish and Brazilian life, in a surprisingly short time. Cate hates Brazil and is ready to leave, but also comes to love something about the relative violence, lack of security, and absence of reliable civic structure that Maria takes for granted. By the end of the play, their relationship is in the balance; but given two rich, intelligent, serious and yet comic performances from Eilidh McCormick and Maria De Lima, all played out around the battered sofa in their flat, we can’t help suspecting that they will work something out; and that their personalities, like their countries, are more like twin parts of a whole, than opposites that can’t be reconciled.

• Final performance today