Talking to Space Hoppers is like spending a gossipy evening with a friend, armed with cotton pyjamas, a glass of white wine and a hot water bottle. It is a cosy and warm play - ever so slightly predictable but all the more comforting for it.
Thirty nine and three-quarters years old, Bev has a husband always away on business and only a bright orange bouncy space hopper called George for company. It is in talking to this children's toy that we find out her worries, hopes, talents and some more than slightly raunchy desires. The formula is an old one: middle-aged, dissatisfied woman finds new hobby and 'rediscovers herself' along the way. Talking to Space Hoppers suffers from its lack of originality, but does vary the formula by making Bev take up stand-up comedy, at which she is a great success.
Swain is engaging to watch - weird, wacky, outrageous and, most of all, a lot of fun. In the low moments you feel for her, and in the high moments you share her joy. The plot may be a little familiar, but it is Swain's ability to mix grief and laughter in a blurring of theatre and stand up comedy that makes this a modest triumph.