Home » Edinburgh Fringe » Wreckage at Venue 26, Summer Hall Red Lecture Theatre

Wreckage at Venue 26, Summer Hall Red Lecture Theatre

This play is a time-hopper, flitting between years: technically it unfolds in forward chronological order, but there are so many flashbacks to earlier times that the plot overall becomes more complicated than it needs to be, especially as there’s a deep and meaningful relationship that both somewhat strangely and entirely understandably continues beyond the grave. Sam (Tom Ratcliffe) begins by revealing his clumsy nature, and Noel (Michael Walters) steps in to save the day. His decision to be nice and helpful, however, results in the show’s critical incident. Quelle surprise (not), neither man is ever the same again.

WreckageBoth characters, in their own ways, get rather overemotional, with loud wailing reverberating around the auditorium for so long at one point the law of diminishing returns started to kick in. Perhaps that’s what the production was going for, a portrayal of attention-seeking crocodile tears that demonstrate how fickle someone used to getting their own way can be. It wasn’t meant to be amusing, I don’t think, but I frankly struggled to keep a straight face as Noel threw a tantrum at Sam removing ivy from their property. Talk about first-world problems.

It’s not all vacuous – the angst and frustration are justified when Sam’s family will only acknowledge Noel as a ‘friend’ and not his fiancé, for instance, and there’s more unpleasantness when it’s revealed their relationship hasn’t been entirely exclusive. Let’s just say there are repeated references to an off-stage character called Matt. Later, Walters takes on a third on-stage character, Christian, and switches between him and Noel highly convincingly.

The use of still images and videos projected onto a large screen enhanced the performance, as did the marking of each segment of the story by way of a calendar telling the audience how much time has passed between scenes. There were times when I wished the show would pick up the pace, which it does eventually, but goes the other way and breezes through twenty-one years or thereabouts in what felt like twenty-one seconds.

The interaction between Sam and Noel is quite natural – there’s stage chemistry, if you will. The play provides an in-depth look at loss and bereavement, as well as a hopeful (if contrived) conclusion that things will generally turn out okay in the end.

3 Star Review

Review by Chris Omaweng

Wreckage is a one-act new original drama about love and loss. It tells the beautiful story of Sam, played by Tom Ratcliffe (Velvet, Sket, 5 Guys Chillin’) and his fiancé Noel, played by west end star Michael Walters (Steve, The Inheritance, Death of a Salesman).

Tom Ratcliffe (he/him)
Michael Walters (he/him)
Writer / Actor – Tom Ratcliffe (he/him)
Director & Designer – Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE, (he/him)
Lighting Designer – Rachel Sampley (she/her)
Sound Designer – Mwen
Casting Director – Nadine Rennie
Producer – Rory Davies (he/him) for Harlow Playhouse

Wednesday 3rd August – Sunday 28th August 2022
By Tom Ratcliffe
Venue 26, Summer Hall
1 Summerhall, Edinburgh, EH9 1PL

Related News & Reviews Past & Present

  1. Review of The Picture of John Gray at The Old Red Lion Theatre
    The Picture of John Gray is an unconventional play about an unconventional man. Writer C. J. Wilmann says that he first became familiar…
  2. Red rehearsals: Red at London Wyndham’s Theatre
    It’s all red in the vaulted rehearsal room. The black has not yet swallowed the red as Rothko once said was his only…
  3. Review of A Naughty Night with Noel Coward at the Old Red Lion Theatre
    If someone should mention ‘The Master’ what immediately springs to mind? Well, if you are a bit of a geeky whovian, like me,…
  4. Review of BENIGHTED at the Old Red Lion Theatre
    Is there such a thing as a ‘spine-chilling comedy’? If so, I haven’t found one yet, and – truth be told – this…
  5. One Jewish Boy at the Old Red Lion Theatre
    A translucent box-like structure dominates the performance space for One Jewish Boy, which should, technically, be called One Jewish Boy and His Significant…


1 thought on “Wreckage at Venue 26, Summer Hall Red Lecture Theatre”

  1. I don’t know what you watched, but anything less than 5* for this show is frankly a miscalculation…

    Theatre may be subjective, but my dear, your review is bonkers.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top