If there is one difference between the sexes that can generally be agreed upon, it is that men tend to focus on one thing, while women are natural multi-taskers. Playwright Hannah Patterson is a prime example of the latter, aiming to tackle such minor issues as parenting, sexual politics, work/life balance, new/old media, education, ageing and shifting 21st-century gender roles through a blend of socially awkward comedy, tortured romance, fierce debate and melancholy drama…in 90 minutes.
This ambition is both Playing With Grown-Ups’ main asset and its downfall. With so many gripping, contentious, zeitgeist-y ideas on the table, plus an increasingly convoluted narrative, there simply isn’t enough time to do everything justice. Conversely, there are sections that feel slightly superfluous, which suggests some combination of tighter focus and/or extended running time would help the piece live up to its full potential.