Deep and moving drama at Coventry theatre

A Play, A Pie and a Pint: Dig by Katie Douglas, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, on until tomorrow (Friday) with two more plays to follow until November 11. Box office 024 7655 3055.

A PLAY, a Pie and a Pint is a trilogy of plays with Dig leading the charge. A three-hander of Glasgow grittiness, there is vast amount of humour then it turns, really unexpectedly, into a brilliant love story.

Brenda (Louise Ludgate) is supporting Tommy (Stewart Porter) through his crisis. The arrival of his ‘wrong un’ brother Dean (Simon McCallum) after 12 years at ‘Her Majesty’s Pleasure’ really puts the cat among the pigeons. Tommy is unconvinced that anyone can change, but Brenda is all for second chances.

Change is at the heart of this play. Tommy must change in the face of loss. He has lost, not only his livelihood, but also ‘work’ itself, his status and his ability to support his family. Dean has a new and hard-won job with a taxi company that he is prepared to give up so that Tommy can work.

Brenda’s speech moved me to tears – and I wasn’t the only one. She tells Tommy that, though she has considered leaving him, each time she tries she realises how much she loves him, how strong he is and how lost she is without his work. She offers him unconditional love while he gets himself together.

Dig is an interesting title and it takes some digging out. My take, for what it’s worth, is that they start by digging AT each other and then it changes to the digging OF each other, as Tommy and Brenda face their individual and combined futures honestly.

The play, the pie and the pint are all thoroughly enjoyable, but best by far is the play - wonderful, deep and satisfying.

Jane Howard