Wednesday

Brutality is hard to sustain onstage. Given that most Edinburgh audiences are unshockable the interest doesn't come from the violence itself; after all there's only so many times you can watch someone hit someone else with an axe before your arms start feeling tired. So it's to the credit of Ian Winterton's Wednesday that he sustains an hour of incredibly watchable, palpably nasty, and occasionally hilarious drama from a woman gagged and tied to bed, a man in the corner with a wolf mask, and an absolute madman with a fondness for Corrie and curry. The torturer, Curtis O'Brien, is the key to this production, livening up every scene in which he appears with a delirious, affable insanity which is as funny as it's frightening, and vice versa. Winterton expertly finds laughter in the dark by juxtaposing his joy in domesticity and normal social ritual with the fact he's a crazy fucker waving an axe around. In the first few scenes the interest levels slightly dropped without him, but this soon passed as the other two leads stopped merely whimpering and started to piece together the awful truth of the narrative. O'Brien is trying to reconstruct a horrendous sexual crime by reuniting its perpetrator and its victim twelve years on, and the script asks searching questions about kinship and responsibility as our sympathies lurch and shifts. The overwhelming darkness of it all might be too much for some – presenting itself as the grottiest possible form of redemption narrative, it packs a savage sting in its tail – but for those desensitised or open-minded enough to seek a point and structure amid all the squalor and atrocity, this is a stunning piece of abrasive, confrontational theatre, acted to perfection by its three-strong cast.

Reviews by Richard O'Brien

The Blurb

'Alarming but amusing... remarkably well written' (Citylife.co.uk). Kidnap, cable-ties, curry and Corrie. Rose wakes blindfolded, gagged and tied to a bed - this is not a good thing. Horror-comedy, Manchester style: violence, sexual content and bad words. Adults only.