Theatre review: The Course of True Love, Oran Mor, Glasgow

This autumn’s series of Play, Pie And Pint shows shared between Oran Mor and the Traverse is over now; but perhaps the Traverse should break the rules, and sign up a few extra performances of this last pre-panto show, a gorgeous and cheering brief rom-com by David Leddy of Fire Exit.

Oran Mor, Glasgow. Picture: Contributed

The Course of True Love

Oran Mor, Glasgow

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Rating: ****

Leddy first made his reputation with beautifully-pitched site-specific shows like Susurrus and Sub Rosa; but the secret of his success has always been in the quality of the writing, and here he spins something strong, sad, witty and resonant out of a 45-minute dialogue between an excellent Louise Ludgate as Celia – the boss of a successful overseas development charity – and her junior manager Oliver, played with equal flair by Mark Prendergast.

The two have been attending a dinner, at “the world’s most expensive hotel”, with the sinister president of a small African country, who wants to make the charity an offer it can’t refuse.

But when they retreat to Celia’s suite to consider their response, what emerges is a tough, funny and sometimes moving short play about the sheer difficulty of forming new relationships in a world full of fast-changing rules and assumptions about “appropriate” sexual behaviour, particularly between boss and employee.

And if the play’s political plot eventually takes a turn for the improbable, there’s no denying the sheer thrill of escape, as Celia and Oliver make their final bid for love and freedom; freedom not only from the president and his goons, but from a whole world of everyday pressures and expectations, that has kept them apart for much too long.

Final performance today.