In many ways, care workers are frontline troops in the battle over wealth, power and resources that is now raging in the UK, and some other western countries. Paid insulting poverty wages to do the arduous and vital job of caring for elderly people in their own homes, they carry on their shoulders the whole weight of a skewed economy that values planet-ravaging “wealth creation” above actual human care; and when brilliant Northern Irish playwright Marie Jones agreed to write a lunchtime play for A Play, a Pie and a Pint in 2010, it’s hardly surprising that she chose to focus on a story involving two harassed care workers, Loretta and Francis.
Theatre review: Fly Me to the Moon, Oran Mor, Glasgow ****
Sarah McCardie’s finely tuned new production – part of the Play, Pie and Pint 500-play celebration – shifts the action from Belfast to Glasgow, where Loretta and Francis are thrown into an escalating series of ethical dilemmas when one of their clients, old Davie, suddenly passes away during a morning visit. Tempted by the idea of Davie’s pension, still awaiting collection, Loretta and Frances set about reclaiming some of what society owes them while also – inevitably and cruelly – plunging deeper and deeper into a web of deception and crime. Sandra McNeeley and Julie Austin turn in a brilliantly funny and poignant pair of performances as distraught Loretta and scheming Francis; and Jones’s sharp, witty and humane dialogue never misses a beat, in a show that seems even tighter and more timely than it did when it first appeared at Oran Mor almost a decade ago. Joyce McMillan
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, from tonight until 12 October