Theatre review: Dirty Promises at the Hope Theatre

Dirty Promises

Dirty Promises - Credit: Archant

Dirty Promises is the second half of an evening devoted to one-act plays, with just two of the four plays in the HopeFull Festival being held at the Hope Theatre until the end of the month.

Two things drew me to this production. The title is exciting and, like itself, promises much; while the fact that the advertising features a woman with a paper bag over her head is intriguing. However, after seeing the show I do not understand either of these things.

Very tall and handsome blond Jed O’Hagan as Drew and the shorter, darker Michael Lyle as Crabby are having drinks together and discussing how to seduce women.

Drew, who seems to know it all, says he will give Crabby lessons and invites him to his house for dinner and to meet his girlfriend.

He is surprised to arrive for dinner to find Lucy (Kirsty J Curtis) sitting there with a bag over her head. He spends the next few minutes trying to work out what is happening but he finds it most confusing.


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It turns out Drew is a bully – and there is a horrible scene where he beats and kicks Lucy. Her face and body are terribly bruised – is that why she wears a bag?

Then Crabby kidnaps her – to save her – or because he thinks women are greedy for rape? She seems to be amenable to everything.

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Presumably there is a feminist meaning behind it all, but I am unable to work it out. The ending is satisfying and seems inevitable, but it would be unfair to give away the plot.

So, as for my expectations, I am not disappointed by the bag, but do not understand what the promises are and why they are dirty.

Director Tom Latter has cast well and all three young actors are very good as they should be in this kind of drama. Whatever Lilly Driscoll means by her play, it is by no means boring, but I feel it would be more enjoyable if the idea behind it was a little clearer.

Rating: Four stars

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