Pros: The topic, the text, the direction, the acting, the sound and lighting. Everything in this production is a delight.
Cons: There was a bit of noise coming from the adjacent rooms.
Laughter and tears chase each other in this intimate drama written and performed by the brilliant Nicola Wren. With a good dose of humour, she gives a potent account of her character’s experience as a female police officer and her struggle to come to terms with her brother’s tragic passing.
There is a note of gender inequality within the words of her male colleagues, but this subject is touched en-passant, whilst recollections from her childhood lead to a more mature approach to life and death. To become a stronger person, she has to embrace her own weaknesses and let them rise to the surface. This process of personal growth, unchained by an episode at work, might prove painful but, ultimately, brings a positive outcome that restores hope after the ineffective attempt to repress her sense of loss.
The presence of a familiar soundtrack and sudden changes in the lighting intensity and temperature create the transitions between reality, dream and reminiscence. The report of a street chase with a criminal keeps the audience on their toes, whilst the officer’s brave attitude at work clashes with her inner vulnerability.
In addition to having produced a resounding and rich script, Wren is a fresh and spirited performer. Her speech and body language impeccably reflect the tone of each scene, her cheeks flushing with rage and her eyes filling with tears to give an enthralling and visceral delivery.
Replay demonstrates that a great play doesn’t always require an elaborate set, and a simple steel bench in the Pleasance Courtyard‘s vaulted Bunker One offers the perfect backdrop for a full-bodied theatre-maker. Fresh from this successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Replay deserves a London revival after its first staging at the Hen and Chickens Theatre last January.
Written and Performed by: Nicola Wren
Producer: Milly Smith and DugOut Theatre
Box Office: 0131 556 6550
Booking Link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/replay
Booking Until: 28 August 2017