The heart and the themes of Pot Noodles & Knickers are in the right place: it is a story about friendship, about self-worth… Yet I missed the build up of a story arch, which made it all fall flat.
Two friends go on a hiking trip in the Scottish Highlands, Dave’s heartbroken because his girlfriend Katie left him. It transpires that his mate Kevin, not only borrowed some money off him to go on the trip but also nabbed Katie. This would be pretty dramatic but the first ten minutes reveal the set up through descriptive dialogue, which reminded me of a radio play. The time lapses do so too, aided by projection and sound effect, which sometimes works and at other times results in five-second flashes of the actors.
In fact, poor hapless Dave (Geoffrey Card) finds out only a few minutes later, by discovering Katie’s special knickers in Kevin (Matthew Durkan)’s bag. One wonders how the rest of the time will be filled, if not just by a 45min long fight.
The guys decide to go their separate ways but Dave injures himself and guilt-ridden Kevin cannot leave him behind. So on they go, limping together, on a journey of self-discovery but the conversations seemed over-written and it has to be said: Dave is so whiney that I understand Katie traded him for Kevin.
Geoffrey Card ’s voice is powerful but his performance too bombastic, contrasting the subtlety of Matthew Durkan who uses all his talent to work the awkward dialogue. I found Dave’s elaborately apology to Kevin for punching him, incredulous. Kevin in turn, after declaring his life-long love for his mate’s girlfriend, calmly states that he cannot be with her after all this. What so what is the point? Who are these men?
It is something we’ll never quite find out: in contrast to the superfluous dialogue, there is a lack of detail: all is discussed in generics rather than specifics. There is no build up, revelations are dropped in (if Dave’s stressed about work wouldn’t he constantly check his phone?) and complications of relations overlooked “The three of us will just sit around the table and talk it out.”
At the end I am left with the unsatisfying feeling that though the geographical situation may have changed in the play, the characters have not.