Janey Godley's 'Point of Yes' SKINNYFEST 1

Article by Miles Johnson | 14 Aug 2006
After receiving widespread plaudits for "The Point of Yes", Glaswegian comic Janey Godley has now brought her one woman, two-character play to the fringe. Chronicling the effects of heroin on the Glasgow housing projects, Godley presents the monologues of two women, one a smack addict who prostitutes herself to fund her habit, the other who watches as heroin gradually rots the punters in her abusive husband's pub. They are separated by the fateful decision to say "yes" or "no" to the drug but share similar hopes and fears when each recalls their suffering as heroin, harvested from post-revolution Iran and shipped in through the docks of Glasgow, arrives in Scotland for the first time.

Godley demonstrates great subtlety when morphing between the two characters, cheerily reminiscing about her halcyon days in one moment and screaming drug-induced profanities in the next. The resulting world she presents is both tragic and darkly humorous containing, among others, the tale of a Glaswegian bar room hero, once able to shoplift a washing machine without being caught but now reduced to a toothless, one-eyed junky.

Her Glaswegian cadences dominate the sparse, black box stage and it the sparseness of "The Point of Yes" that forms the foundation to its occasional brilliance. Where certain sections see the impact of her stark realism fade, there are moments in which the water seen in so many monologues has been squeezed out, leaving a powerful theatrical husk behind. In what is becoming a great Scottish artistic tradition, Godley has dissected the putrefying effects of heroin with a candid skill. Her efforts should certainly be seen.