Hugh Casey reviews Cloud Nine, the new Mermaids’ play running at the Byre on April 15th and 16th. 


Have you ever wanted to switch off from all poignant worries stifled in severity by watching a play concerning itself with many of those issues? Cloud Nine is a fantastically humorous account of one perverse group through two acts set worlds apart. Act I sets one family, its extension, warts, infidelity and all in a territory of the British Empire. Act II follows the same set of characters through a 1979 summer in London. Same characters, same cast, different roles; equally absurd and funny.

Cloud Nine written by Caryl Churchill encapsulates still prevalent areas of difference, issues which often prevent social cohesion. Colonialism, racial tension, patriarchal enforcement and control through marriage, sexuality through various contexts and the morality of age consent etc. etc. However, if you sit without reading too far beyond how these materialise on the stage then you can enjoy a wonderfully produced piece of comedic theatre. Indeed the crowd on the opening night’s performance responded with total warmth and sustained laughter. There were a few nerves and wee falters, which are to be expected with an opening showing in a large space. A couple of over eager entrances of lines and an opening song that was slightly unheard beneath a booming musical accompaniment were as I say, small, and should not be dwelled on.

One area I found particularly distinctive was that the play does not carry one clear central figure, which brought the entire cast to the foreground of events. The entire cast deserve huge credit, especially in respect to quick costume changes that fuel the trip. The supporting crew are also deserving of praise for establishing the stage with vivacity, once again proving how capable our student body is at putting on a production on a professional level.

The final showing is Saturday 16th, check it: – tickets are also available on the Byre website:


Hugh Casey