St Andrews’ very own playwright is at it again. Tim Foley’s newest play (and his last in our grey old town), Baby Bottle Cosmo is a twist on the classic living room drama – two couples, lots of booze, drama ensues. Starring Frazer Hadfield, Mimi Von Schack, Mandarr Brandi, Jen Russell and Ed Fry, it sets the living room drama on its head by having the two couples be two gay couples. The themes dealt with are universal to all parents, such as the idea of parents striving to make their children better people; however one character laments, gay parents are held to a much higher standard than straight parents because their situation is not the status quo. So they need to be better than everyone else. Straight to the heart with that one.
That’s how the whole play mostly works, there are very, very funny bits that move quickly to zingers that will stick with you long after the show is over. It is easy to tell that the script is handled by an intelligent, experienced director, and the cast itself is uniformly excellent, from Mimi Von Schack’s protective mama bear looking out for her son, Mandarr Brandi as her unhappy wife, and Ed Fry as the partner of the deeply troubled Frazer Hadfield. Jen Russell rounds off the play as the business-card bearing enigma of the cast. While the ensemble was excellent across the board, special recognition must be given to Frazer Hadfield who totally rocked the part of the deeply troubled Frankie, and was simply magnetic at every point he was on stage.
Foley throws a lot of plates in the air with this one. Though not all of them make it back down, the ones that do are caught and handled with such skill, both by the writing and the incredibly talented cast that it’s up to you to decide if you really care all that much. This reviewer certainly didn’t. Part of the fun of theatre – or, it should be – is picking things apart after the curtain goes down. There is a lovely thread of self-reference running throughout the play; two of the characters make their livings through theatre; plus the reveal of a character in a conveniently placed prop on stage is hinted at, which audience members familiar with Foley’s work will probably nervously eye throughout the play. However, there are also ideas that are never really given full room to be explored and are only vaguely mentioned for a moment before they’re gone.
This is definitely a play that will keep you thinking long after the curtain call – which undoubtedly is what most writers wish to leave their audience with. All in all, a brilliant play by some of St Andrews’ most talented Mermaids. Not to be missed.
You can still catch Baby Bottle Cosmo at 8pm at the Byre, TONIGHT. Get your tickets here. If you miss this you'll be as sick as a pig.