The play is set in a 'large and very stylish Merchant City Loft in Glasgow' belonging to Barbs Marshall, a celebrity hairdresser. She is successful, has her own show on local TV, a nice apartment in a trendy part of the city, but she is 39 years old and almost deafened by the ticking of her biological clock. To make matters worse, her mother is a nag, her best friend is holding out on her and her ex-husband Davie has a new 22-year-old girlfriend. Then she meets 26-year-old Grant, who seems more than ready to oblige. But the complications are by no means over.
The Traverse Theatre premiere was directed by John Tiffany and designed by Georgia Sion. It was performed by Siobhan Redmond, Anne Kidd, Ann Scott-Jones, John Kazek, Vincent Friell and Enzo Cilenti.
Please note that the ages given are the character ages and not the actor ages. We have included a definitionof the characters' ages to explain how the roles will need to be cast if the actor is not the exact age of the character.
Barbs – f – 39 - A born and bred Glaswegian, Barbs is a recently-divorced celebrity hairdresser. She decides on her 39th birthday that she wants to have a baby. She enlists the help of her best friend and fellow stylist, Gay. This character appears in every scene and the actor should be able to portray a wide range of emotions and to play subtle comedy. The role requires multiple quick costume changes to show the passing of time and there is one scene where the actress will ideally appear in underwear.
Age - Barbs should appear a couple of years younger than Davie and Alice, significantly older than Grant and young enough to be Sadie’s daughter. Ideally, Barbs should be cast first and the rest of the characters cast around her.
Brendan – m – 25-35 – Glaswegian and stereotypically gay. Brendan should be played as camp as possible, verging on the offensive. The role requires multiple costume changes in Act 2 as he appears in every scene, with each scene meant to be on a different day (a lot of this can be done by adding/subtracting jumpers etc.)
Age – Brendan should be younger or the same age as Barbs but should appear young enough to still be promiscuous without looking like a dirty old man.
Sadie – f - 60s – Barbs' over-bearing typical interfering mother. A small role, but crucial, Sadie is funny without trying to be. The actor is required to sing, although this is as a mother comforting a baby so the quality is not important; the actor must just be comfortable doing it.
Age – Sadie must be old enough to be Barbs' mother, preferably grey or white haired (she appears in Act 2 as a ghost of her younger self; the actor will either be made older in Act 1 or younger in Act 2, depending on who is cast)
Davie – m - 42-45 – A Glaswegian, Davie is Barbs ex-husband, who left her for a younger model but realises he wants Barbs back. He is also Alice's younger brother. A small role but one that requires the actor to play a hard man with a heart.
Age – A couple of years older than Barbs and a couple younger than Alice.
Alice – f – 44-48 - A happily married wife and mother to 2 daughters, Alice has a secret: she had a teen pregnancy resulting in a son who was put up for adoption. Barbs and Davie were unaware of this at the time.
Age – Slightly older than Davie and Barbs, and old enough to have been a teen mum to Grant.
Grant – m – Early 20s – The non-Glasweigian in the cast, Grant is Alice's biological son, who has come to Glasgow to meet his birth mum, and who ends up starting a secret affair with Barbs. The actor should not sound Glaswegian; ideally, it should be totally obvious that he doesn’t belong here. The role may require underwear/nudity.
Age – Young enough to be Alice's son and at the stage where he is technically an adult (but not really).