Presented by St Jude’s Players
5-7 and 10-14 May 2011.
What’s the Story?
After a bad night at the football, Percy picks up a hooker (Cyrenne) and they go back to her place to seal the deal. Percy then chickens out but refuses to leave.
What’s the Problem?
There isn’t one. This is one of those character pieces, where two actors come on stage and talk about who they are and how they feel and nothing is at stake and nothing really happens. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, so long as the characters are interesting and dynamic and stuff.
However, it gets old by about the third time Percy picks up his coat and scarf and heads for the door, only to turn back at the last second or discover the key missing or some other useless thing to keep him there.
I just wanted him to leave… and he was so close…
Is the main problem for me. He’s 42 and never been on a date. The hopeless-male cliche in overdrive. He has no idea about women and when they’re giving him less-than-subtle clues. As someone who routinely misses less-than-subtle clues, that might be forgivable except for this fact: he hired a hooker and refuses to sleep with her.
Someone who pays money to sleep with a woman and then refuses to sleep with the woman so he can bitch about how he never sleeps with women just annoys the shit out of me. Especially when he keeps complaining about how he’s ruined the mood.
NEWS FLASH: YOU PAID THIS WOMAN TO HAVE SEX WITH YOU. YOU DON’T NEED TO ROMANCE HER.
Sigh. Stop doing the dishes and make with the love. Especially since you have fifty pounds resting on this (in 1962 money; enough for a two-person week-long holiday, apparently). If for no other reason than the fact that by engaging this prostitute you will turn a financial profit, stop talking and get busy.
Slightly less annoying than Percy, but just as cliched. She tells Percy a bunch of lies about her upbringing, then later says she doesn’t care what people think of her. If that were true, she wouldn’t be lying about her past. She’d just tell him straight-out that she was abused at the hand of her step-father and left home when mum wouldn’t believe her story.
At one point, she turns down the opportunity to go on a boat (and presumably get paid for her “services” to hang around in her apartment with Percy and not get paid. (For some reason, she reversed her earlier “I don’t care how you use my time, you’re still paying for it” policy and let him hang around for free.) If there had been some romantic chemistry between the two characters, that might have been her reason but there didn’t seem to be any. Percy just annoyed her and he didn’t know what to do with her.
Has a totally different accent to his sister. That’s my biggest beef with him. Oh, and he does the same now-I’m-angry, now-I’m-calm thing that all the characters do. They don’t have clearly defined motives; they get angry and calm down at a moment’s notice and for no reason that I could discern.
What’s the Solution?
Presumably we’re supposed to invest in Percy and his need to pop his cherry, but it doesn’t work because this woman is a hooker and he doesn’t need to win her over or woo her.
So, I suppose, the solution would be to have Cyrenne not be a prostitute, but a woman that he’s picked up in a bar after the game. That way, he has a task to accomplish and there is the possibility he could fail. But at the moment the only way he can fail is by not trying. And he spends two hours finding various excuses not to try.
If you’re into character pieces, maybe.
I’m too far into the plot-centric camp to enjoy a story which is two people talking, especially when one is lying about everything she says (without reason to, according to her) and the other is so nervous or stupid that he doesn’t realise what you buy a prostitute for if you’re a 42-year-old virgin… but if that doesn’t annoy you then go for it!