Review: WRITE-OFF, Oran Mor, Glasgow

Review of Write-Off at Glasgow's A Play, A Pie and A Pint

Review: WRITE-OFF, Oran Mor, Glasgow

Shortlists for 2023 Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland Announced

Write-Off is a new play by Aodhan Gallagher and directed by Irene Macdougall, co-presented with Traverse Theatre in association with Dundee Rep.

Freddie (Richard Conlon) is an established author who, at the demand of his publisher has been asked to consult with a sensitivity reader. His style of novel is dark, gritty and deeply misogynistic. Ben (Bailey Newsome) is a young, queer writing student who is a fan of Freddie's work but recognises that some of the content is problematic. Freddie is rude, abrasive and at times downright abusive with his insistence that he will not pander to 'snowflakes'. Unfortunately, his publisher isn't keen to take on any more of his work until he is seen to be cooperating.

Ben knows that the opportunity to work with Freddie would look great on his CV and give him a leg up in the publishing world but he also seems to want to make a difference. Although never explicitly stated in his writing or otherwise, Ben has identified that Freddie is a gay man and questions why he wouldn't rather write about his own experience rather than gangster crime.

You really shouldn't like Freddie but Conlon makes it pretty hard not to. His deadpan delivery is excellent and his cynical bitter attitude is perfectly paired with Newsome's keenness for change.

Gallagher's writing is exceptional and twisty and both actors pull off a fantastic performance. Write-Off is completely unpredictable and has struck a perfect balance between brilliant dark comedy and a truly evocative piece of theatre. A must-see.

Photo credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan



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