Ma, Pa and the Little Mouths

By Martin McCormick  /  Directed by Andy Arnold  /  Tron Theatre  /  Traverse Theatre  /  Set & Costume Design

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'Home is a dust-laden fortress for the ageless couple... With their windows curtained off to the outside world and the piled-up debris of a life alone together piled up around them like the contents of a bombed-out junkyard, Ma and Pa’s world is enlivened only by a mess of egg custards and a fridge full of tinnies. Andy Arnold’s production heightens the play’s dark ridiculousness to the max. This is enabled even more by the tilted mania of Charlotte Lane’s set, which carpets its simple living room with a post-apocalyptic greyness given an all-consuming wide-screen treatment....When the real world comes crashing in, it’s as if a nuclear blast had reignited life yet to come in a riotous living comic strip that is both brutal and troublingly hilarious.' Herald Scotland

'...with Charlotte Lane offering a memorably claustrophobic and dilapidated set... a glimpse of a domestic madness' The Scotsman

'Charlotte Lane’s inspired set design blends muted tones of cream and beige with a thick, hardened layer of dust, depleted of any real-world sense of colour and fruitful life. Ma and Pa’s world encompasses a small surrealist living room with lamps and knickknacks littering the walls at obscure angles and sprawled across the ceiling like they’ve been frozen in time... It is an existence where time goes in circles, freezes, and restarts as the outside world is blocked from bleeding in through the taped-up black-out curtains. With allusions to an apocalyptic disaster and a new, dangerous alternative reality outside...' Glasgowist

'Charlotte Lane’s extraordinary design – a shoebox set with most of the contents of an ironmonger’s shop whitewashed and stuck to the walls' AllEdinburghTheatre

'Designed by Charlotte Lane, the stour covered claustrophobically cluttered flat that Ma and Pa inhabit looks like the inside of a bizarre version of a piece of Will McLean art. Here, with only a one bar electric fire for heat, they are hermetically sealed from the world' Edinburgh Guide

'...set in the decrepit, dusty and claustrophobic dirty-white living room of Ma (Karen Dunbar) and Pa (Gerry Mulgrew), who keep the light out from the windows by covering them in endless rips of thick tape, set the fire up high, and keep inside almost exclusively...   ..noticeable additions of colour being introduced to the room (Pa hangs multi-coloured bunting across the drab interior, Neil is forced to put on a flamboyant red dress) as youth returns to the house.' The Skinny


Photography by John Johnson