Brian Beacom

WHAT do you do to keep a relationship airborne when it’s even struggling to take off, the wind of excitement no longer blowing?

Anita Vettesse’s new play From The Air tells the story of Clare (Angela Darcy) and her husband Pete (David McGowan) who are now empty nesters.

Clare’s life is shrinking. She’s lost. Meanwhile, Pete is set to retire from his job on the rigs and he’s hoping the marriage can take-off again, with a move to Tuscany.

But Clare develops a fear of flying. Can she deal with her phobia? Is there hope for the marriage?

Can the couple keep a relationship going without the kids around to give it lift?

“The fear of flying is a metaphor for Clare’s sense of being trapped,” says David,” smiling.

“The idea in Pete’s head is they will take off to live in Tuscany, away from the rat race, enjoy life while they are still relatively young.

“But Clare has other thoughts. She feels disappointed.

“And we learn in the play she once hoped to go to uni when she was younger - but now she blames her husband that it didn’t happen.

“As a result, the pair have been making their own way in life.”

He adds; “This is a couple who have a lot to work out.”

Not half. It looks as though this relationship is set to crash and burn.

Or is it?

“This is a very human story, a relationship tale,” says David, grinning, not wishing to give too much of the plot away.

And rightly so.

Appearing in a relationship play however often has the result its actors thinking more about their own relationship.

David, who is married to former River City star Joyce Falconer, agrees that is the case.

“It does make you reflect,” he says. “You tend to draw upon your own experience when you come to play a character.”

Former RSAMD graduate David brings a massive amount of experience to the role of Pete.

David studied method acting at the Lee Strasberg Studio in New York in 1994 – backed by Robin Williams whom he had become friends with.

Over the years, the Ruchill-born actor has appeared in a wide range of theatre and television productions, from Rab C.Nesbitt to films such as Bill Forsyth’s Being Human.

More recently, he was seen on television in doctor identity switch drama, Trust Me.

“I’m also in a movie coming out called Country Music, starring Julie Walters which is great, and a dramatized game show for BBC2, Armchair Detectives,” he says, updating his cv.

In recent times David worked in Portugal for a year, with a local theatre company.

“I took myself off for a year and it was a great experience,” he says.

“Most of the plays I did were in English but some were in Portuguese.”

When he decided to come home, David discovered old pal Sandy Nelson was set to stage his new play Metrosexual, at Oran Mor.

“Sandy cast me in the play and it was my first Oran Mor adventure,” says David. “It was great timing.”

It was also a welcome reintroduction to the Scottish acting scene. Sometimes out of sight means out of mind?

“That can be the case,” he says with a knowing smile.

Work for most actors is thin on the ground. But David grins however as he admits he didn’t want to appear with wife Joyce when offered a role in her hit Oran Mor musical play, The Tale O’ Fanny Cha-Cha.

“You think it’s not a great idea to work with your partner,” he reflects. “But it all worked out fine.

“It turned out to be a great experience.”

He adds, laughing; “And if the play hadn’t worked out I could have said, ‘Well, I told you I didn’t want to do it. It’s your fault’.”

Are there times when he thinks perhaps his career would have been better served if he’d stayed in the States?

“Yes, but I wouldn’t have met my wife,” he says, with a pleased smile.

“Life has a way of sorting itself out.”

*From The Air, Oran Mor, until Saturday.