Wired

Wired is one of several productions with a military theme being performed at the Army Reserve Centre, Summerhall’s new venue, [email protected] What it portrays is a world away from the cosy atmosphere of the mess bar, the art exhibition and the casual social interaction; not that several of the soldiers on duty haven't had first hand experience of what it portrays..

Wired is a worthy and honourable tribute to the sacrifices individuals choose make for their country

Lesley Wilson’s play follows the young Joanna (Jasmine Main) from the time just prior to her recruitment through to her discharge and experience of post-traumatic stress. Wilson had joined protest marches against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq but she was drawn to this subject by her background in social work and counselling and interest in issues of mental health. In 2009 as the death toll rose on all sides in the conflict the news frequently showed coffins being taken off military planes. Wilson, however, looked into the eyes of those returning with physical injuries and glimpsed into their far less obvious mental condition.

At a post-performance discussion with Wilson, the cast, and others who made this production possible, several veterans commented on how well the play captures the traumas from which many suffer In this and other discussions at the venue the therapeutic power of drama has become increasingly evident, along with the deep appreciation of military personnel that playwrights, producers, actors and directors are taking up such themes.

There is a stark, chilling simplicity to Wired. The vast empty floor is occupied by three women, often in choreographed sequences that try to maximise its size. The text matches this. The lines are short, often staccato and frequently detached from a sense of dialogue. This is most evident in the words of Voice (Rachel Ogilvy). She recites the enticing promises of army life as though it were a verbal recruitment brochure. Mother (Natalie Clark) interrupts with the dissenting voice that reminds us of Wilson’s own stance. She also harks back to her husband’s demise into alcoholism from his own traumas. Meanwhile, Joanna tries to reconcile the two. Eventually she joins up because it seems a better option than incurring debts on a degree course. Her time starts out well until the life-changing incident occurs. She is discharged and returns home unable to adjust to civilian life and haunted by what she has experienced. Like her father, she finds consolation in alcohol and enters the downward spiral of drink and depression.

The play would probably benefit from a smaller, more intimate venue in which the audience is brought much closer to the action. Often the characters seemed a long way off, isolated in a dimly lit expanse of nothing, although the lighting fit the mood. The rapid-fire script requires concentrated listening as lines dart from one character to another. They are not always fully projected and to the untuned ear the strong Scottish accents often make understanding difficult.

Wired is a worthy and honourable tribute to the sacrifices individuals choose make for their country and a sharp reminder that while fighting the enemy might come to an end, fighting the demons is for life. 

Reviews by Richard Beck

Turbine Theatre

My Night With Reg

★★★
Brockley Jack Theatre

every seven years

★★★
Arcola Theatre

The Game of Love and Chance

★★★
Lion & Unicorn

Two Worlds No Family

★★★★
Jermyn Street Theatre

Mr and Mrs Nobody

★★★★
The Space

Helium

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

'They said I'd be good at it.' The story of a young woman soldier's journey through post-traumatic stress by award-winning playwright Lesley Wilson, developed in collaboration with the British Army. Following training, Joanna is deployed to Afghanistan and believes she is prepared for what lies ahead. What she is not prepared for is a visit from her past. As the realities of war close in around her, Joanna struggles to make sense of the voices, memories and flashbacks that wage war inside her head. Originally developed with support from Playwrights' Studio Scotland and Tron Theatre Creative.

Most Popular See More

Cinderella The Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wonderment Magic & Illusion

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets