Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
In an economy dominated by ‘funnel the capital upwards’ juggernauts like Uber, Yodel and Deliveroo, Eric (Tom McGovern)’s new company, Bring Me Wheels, is the logical conclusion. They all require drivers, right? So why not combine them, and concentrate even more money in a single pair of hands?
Speaking of hands, Eric has his fingers in a lot of pies, but Bring Me Wheels is especially close to his heart. He’s using it as an excuse to rebuild his relationship with his twenty-three-year-old son, Brandon (Ross Baxter), who hasn’t – as yet – got much to boast about on his CV. What better way to set him up than to make him manager of his dad’s shiny new start-up? But Brandon’s boyfriend, Sam (Jamie McKillop), has a lot to say about the inequities of late-stage capitalism, which puts a spoke in the Bring Me wheel. A bit of reading soon convinces Brandon that he’s not too keen on the business’s exploitative practices, although he does like living in a fancy flat and driving a brand new Tesla…
David Gerow’s script is nicely paced, and there’s plenty of humour to lighten the outrage. Directed by Ken Alexander, Break My Windows is as much an exploration of relationships as it is of the gig economy, and the chemistry between the three actors is palpable. At times it’s horribly tense, with Eric and Sam both entrenched in diametrically opposed views, and Brandon caught unhappily in the middle, snarked at by both of them, and repeatedly told to “keep your feelings out of this”. The politics are a little simplistic, perhaps, but that seems realistic too: you don’t have to spend too long on Twitter to see how binary and glib so-called debate can be. McGovern’s Eric is particularly funny – and strangely appealing, despite the odious views he espouses.
This thought-provoking piece is part of the latest A Play, a Pie and a Pint season, and it’s very fitting for a slice of lunchtime theatre.