Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cops Caught in a Love Trap

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cops Caught in a Love Trap

Article excerpt

Byline: HENRY HITCHINGS

BLUE SURGE Finborough, SW10 REBECCA GILMAN is an American playwright who specialises in depicting the grubbiness of relationships -- their conflicts, dark ambiguities and episodes of selfloathing.

This is the UK premiere of a play first presented in Chicago in 2001, and it's surprising that it has taken so long to come here.

The title suggests a rising tide of both melancholy and raunchiness. It's also a punning reference to blue serge, a material that's tough, like many of the characters Gilman portrays, and the pun is inspired by one character's mishearing of the name of a haunting jazz number by Duke Ellington.

The air of despondency is mixed with a certain flirtatious comedy. It's a combination that pervades the lives of flatmates Sandy and Heather, who work in a massage parlour somewhere in smalltown America. When cops Curt and Doug botch a raid on their premises, this pathetic endeavour results -- a touch improbably -- in the priapic Doug becoming romantically embroiled with sassy, roistering Heather and the more sensitive Curt linking up with pensive Sandy. …

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