Doll

A strange mixture of Frankenstein, Pygmalion, and softcore erotica lies at the heart of this debacle of a play from Inverness playwright Liam McCormick. At the age of 18, Ethan falls for a sex doll or, as he calls it, a ‘love doll’, called Monica, the ‘only woman I’ve met with a soul’. However, after a five-year anniversary, fearing she might run off into the sunset with another man he decides that the only way he can truly connect with his beloved is to ‘become plastic’.

Somewhere buried inside this play is a concept screaming to get out – perhaps Ryan Gosling’s recent film Lars and the Real Girl, about another man who falls for a sex doll, is the spiritual precedent here – but this is a play so confused in its execution the concept couldn’t possibly get out. Was it a commentary on how we judge one another? Was it a diatribe against the sexualisation of women by men? Your guess is as good as mine.

It has about as much dramatic tension as a trip to the supermarket; at least I couldn’t wait to see what happened next, as it was so hilariously performed I smiled the whole way through. The acting is poor throughout, from Ethan’s emotional flatness to the frankly nervous Victor Frakenstein-like plastic surgeon (geddit?), and at points actors began to veer off into different accents (they speak of both the British NHS and paying in dollars). Dialogue is expositional at best and has sexual frankness that is staggering: at several points the sexdoll becomes animated and you feel like you’ve stumbled into a scene from Fifty Shades of Grey. And even though it has an ending predictable from about twenty minutes in, the conclusion is so daft that you can’t take your eyes off it – and that may not be such a bad thing.

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The Blurb

Ethan is a married man. His wife, Monica, is a $600 doll. He decides to become plastic like her, and meets the enigmatic Doctor Whiteman, who agrees to help him. But the doctor is not all he seems.

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