A Table Tennis Play

A Table Tennis Play by Sam Steiner – Underbelly, Edinburgh

An encounter between an apparently confident young couple, sorting out her dead mother’s things, and a socially awkward tennis-playing teenager is the basis of ‘A Table Tennis Play’. It does awkward very well, but a lack of focus undermines the show as a whole. The best moments come when Beth Holmes’ teen Mia’s neediness pushes her encounters with Rosa Robson’s Cath into territory neither of them expect, and a strange relationship threatens to blossom. It is partly to writer Steiner’s credit that the audience never knows what will happen next, lending events an eerie atmosphere.

The moment of Cath’s mother’s death in that very room is both significant and, inevitably, uneventful. After all, why would anything happen?However, the lack of a clear plot line is also a problem. The play generates an aimlessness in its quest for meaning. The world outside the shelter is confused but also confusing, involving too much information about who is doing what, where, of dubious significance. Above all, it is never really clear why the play is set in a bunker, or what tennis – table or otherwise – has to do with anything.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s