Staged in a crashed car,
Wrecked is a unique and engaging production of an ambitious idea.
It’s a fantastic idea, and admirably executed. As Sam regains consciousness slumped at the steering wheel, mirrors on the dashboard reflect her fractured image for the audience sat behind her. It’s less successful when she turns around to address us directly. Set against the realism of our location, the writing – in particular, the self-consciousness of Sam’s confusion – feels a little heavy handed. Swivelled round in the driver’s seat, she begins the story of the obsessive friendship which led her to this moment. Kirsty Bruce is immenselywatchableasSam, but the script feels a bit too coherent, the narrative too lyrical and overwrought to believe from a speaker whose car has just “wrapped itself around a tree”.
It’s tough for Wrecked to deliver any real atmosphere of claustrophobia or confusion after the miniature safety briefing from the Assembly staff in a bustling George Square. We’re armed against the heat with cups of iced water, and told emphatically that we can leave at any time. Gloomier lighting inside the vehicle might have helped to reestablish a greater sense of danger, but there are some lovely touches: a blackening banana peel, an oyster card tucked into the side door. Sam’s monologue is intertwined with another narrative, broadcast in tinny excerpts from the front of the car. The way the two stories combine is satisfying, but the weaving isn’t quite subtle enough and the writing informs rather than evokes. The production would benefit from borrowing a little from Punchdrunk’s curated interactive theatrical experiences. More indication of an untapped backstory and more time for the audience to discover it for themselves would have been welcome: we are firmly in the passenger seat in this respect.
The script doesn’t quite reach the emotional shattering it strives for but this is worth a watch for the experience alone. There’s plenty of unexplored potential here – Wrecked is a unique and engaging production of an ambitious idea.