Spotlites (Venue 278)
4-20th Aug (not 14th)
The tale of a Blackpool coffee shop that doubles as the town’s first and only male brothel.
Just A Quick One is a new play written by Hannah Sowerby, who also plays two acting roles, those of Josie Rosebud, hapless reality TV presenter and Greg (one of the male sex workers)’s Nan.
There’s a great deal of seaside cheeky postcard farce here, the humour reminiscent of Fawlty Towers or Dinnerladies, with a dash of The Hotel Inspector. It’s feelgood, sweet and charming, brought to Edinburgh for the first time by the Northumbria Drama Society. The grinning inept management style and decisions, grumbling disinterested staff and utterly abysmal customer service are pretty much on point and anyone who has worked in hospitality (whether horizontally or vertically) will recognise aspects of their previous employers.
That said, things felt oddly cast. The roles of Cassie the Queen-daft cleaner and Barry the work experience lad could have been combined easily and it would have simplified the ensemble cast (and given something more substantial to work on with the only romance in the play). Some actual scenes of clients with the lads would have been good. And there’s a fantastic singer/guitarist at the beginning who sings a song, then fucks off never to be seen again until after the end. Is he staff at the cafe/brothel (but then absent for the staff meeting) or just a device? In real time he also goes out flyering with the company in chaps and jockstrap and is energetic and fun. He just needs a bigger part (fnar fnar)!
Asides from that and the “coffee” being visibly water (I can only suspend belief so far), this is a amusingly kitsch, slightly camp piece that you can take your friends or slightly older relatives to and they’ll be suitably entertained.
Perhaps it needs a bit more research. There is rumoured to be a nail salon in Leith which is the front for a brothel (not male though), so it’s not that far fetched after all. I could do with a nice mani-pedi…