Breakfast Plays: A Respectable Widow Takes To Vulgarity
Douglas Maxwell's script finally proves that swearing is both big and clever
This article is from 2013.
Although a barrage of f-words and c-words is a tough call first thing in the morning, Douglas Maxwell’s plea for a more tolerant attitude to bad language is hidden beneath a fast-paced and witty comedy. Following one woman’s attempt to come to terms with her husband’s death – and finding liberation in the judicious use of swearwords – A Respectable Widow is hilarious and heartfelt.
The chemistry between Scott Fletcher, as the widow’s guide to the correct use of vulgarity, and Annabelle Love as the widow ensures that the torrent of filth is charming rather than crass. Touching on conflicts of class and attitude, aside from a slight undeveloped romantic subplot, A Respectable Widow is a fine example of how a short play can cover many ideas without losing direction.
The compassion Maxwell shows for both widow and worker gives their adventures a deeper meaning. When the widow finally expresses the ultimate taboo word, at a football match, the tension is played for laughs and drama. Maxwell script finally proves that swearing is both big and clever.
Traverse Theatre, 0131 228 1404, 22, 24 Aug, 9am, £14.