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Riddance 

A punchy, eccentric drama about three Scottish friends in a London flat

Wednesday, Feb 18 2004
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Linda McKlean's punchy, eccentric drama about three childhood Scottish friends in a London flat takes a while to come to a boil. At first Kenny, who rents the flat, carries the play along with his obsessive affection for Hoover vacuum cleaners and his generally uptight insistence on cleanliness and control. "You are what you discard," he says, with bugged eyes and a rubbery, earnest face. (Kevin Kelleher plays him hilariously.) If you are what you discard, you must -- meticulously -- clean up after yourself. The reason for Kenny's odd uptightness becomes clear after Frank (Adam Chipkin) turns up to inform Kenny that his mother is dying. Kenny has no feelings for his mother; in fact he has almost no feelings at all, and he'd prefer to leave most of his childhood neatly in the past. It seems he harbors an awful secret having to do with Frank. So does Clare (Laura Hope), a blond woman nearing 40 who dated Frank as a teenager. Frank is a high-strung, physical man: He wears leather jackets and has no time for Kenny's uptight games. When talk turns to fatherhood and babies, he pushes both Kenny and Clare for their secrets, and things get very messy indeed.

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