Wreckage

"As a whole, the piece is incredible"

The Turbine Theatre is fully cementing itself as the go to theatre for new plays and musicals. They’ve got an explosive start to the year with ‘Wreckage’ on the bill. 

This emotive piece written by and starring Tom Ratcliffe tells the story of Sam (played by Ratcliffe) and Noel (played by Michael Walters) who are your any normal couple; they have a house, a cat and everything ahead of them looks rosy until one day their paths change and Sam is left to navigate the journey in front of him without his partner by his side. The story is told on an empty stage with only digital art (created by Denholm Spurr) projected onto a backdrop giving any indication of time and location, this feels slightly amateur but doesn’t detract from the piece.

 

In the first 5 minutes we see a big change happen and it hits hard. The moment is replayed a few times, each time growing in intensity. This story is told in non-chronological order which means you really must be paying attention throughout, though you are aided by the fantastic lighting design by Rachel Sampley. Rachel has put great thought into the design and uses it to perfectly show you where you are in the overall story. 

Michael Walters gives an outstanding performance in the roles of Noel and Christian, the former being a role which is both physically and vocally demanding and he completes it with such ease and grace.

As we move through the play there are times of side-splitting humour and others of heart-breaking sadness. The actors do an incredible job of bringing each section to life enhanced at times with wonderful contemporary movement. I feel Director Rikki Beadle-Blair really understood the text presented to him and he has presented some truly wonderful moments of theatre here. The scene in which Sam is tearing down the ivy leaves that have decorated the space is one that will stay with me for some time due to its power and truth. 

Ratcliffe and Walters have an undeniable chemistry on stage together, both actors put their all into this play and you completely buy into their story. The final montage of Sam’s life is beautifully portrayed leaving the audience with a sense of warmth tinged with sadness. 

As a whole, the piece is incredible and a story which I’m sure many will relate to in some way or another. I think it deserves a bigger space and budget as this huge powerful tale feels like it could give so much more to its audiences if given the right tools. 

Reviewed by Rosie Browne

Wreckage plays at The Turbine Theatre until the 22nd January 2023.  Tickets are available here: https://www.theturbinetheatre.com/whats-on/wreckage

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