Glasgow Central

Glasgow Central is a play based on true events, written and directed by Lauren Dowie. This gritty, hard-hitting piece of theatre promotes Scotland’s talent and conveys urban stories about Scotland which are rarely told. This new writing looks at the escort service ‘City Girls’ in Glasgow, analysing how women get involved in this industry and how they are treated by both their clients and managers.

A brutally honest portrayal of Scotland’s most infamous vice industry.

This play centres around two women, Jainey and Mandy (April Gilogey and Gemma Laurie respectively). These women come from extremely different backgrounds, yet find solidarity in their situation, using drugs and alcohol as coping mechanisms. Gilogey and Laurie are convincing and touching, powerfully portraying this difficult lifestyle and humanising escorting as a profession.

Kenny Crawford, played by Assistant Director Austin Struckmeyer, is the manager of City Girls. Sleazy, immoral and corrupt, he is being investigated by Scottish Detective Inspectors (though he has always gotten away with crime in the past). Struckmeyer plays this role with conviction, effectively portraying a man who seems to have it all, but who is hiding a dark secret.

Though Crawford and Dowie have done a fine job for the most part, directorially there are flaws in this play. It is at times unpolished, with elongated blackouts and copious actors shuffling on and off stage. The actors are clumsy with the multiple props, and many scenes could do with fine tuning to ensure that they are at their best, particularly those which involved the girls visiting clients. The largest downfall was the decision to use projected film at the beginning and end. Though this created a serendipitous means of completing the tale, it was poorly executed, with the film becoming grainy and adding nothing to the story.

Despite some flaws, Glasgow Central is a brutally honest portrayal of Scotland’s most infamous vice industry. It is well acted, and the performers have a keen understanding of the subject matter, allowing them to successfully portray these difficult themes. Though some scenes could benefit from adjustments and improvements, this is a refreshing piece of new writing which has a lot of heart.

Reviews by Angela O'Callaghan

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The Blurb

Jainey, an escort battling drug addiction, meets Kenny Crawford, a local vice-boss in Glasgow. Kenny’s past hides unexpected, disturbing truths putting more lives in danger than ever before. Based on true-life events about the sex industry in Glasgow. Contains strong sexual content.