dfp_header_hidden_string

Get our free email newsletter with just one click

The Wrong Man review at Pleasance London

As the play opens, a suspected informer sits hooded and tied to a chair. He is surrounded by three IRA interrogators while a knife, hammer and pair of pliers lie menacingly on a side table.

Written by Sinn Fein’s former director of publicity, this bleak, harrowing drama is set in 1984 when the British goverment was trying to paralyse the IRA by flooding its ranks with informers. The opening scene is particularly gripping and Tony Devlin is especially frightening as the most vicious interrogator.

Frequent flashbacks show how a series of simple mistakes and human foibles probably lead the IRA to the wrong man and also enable us to see the terrorists as ordinary people. Diehard Raymond – a good performance from Brendan Mackey as a man who has convinced himself to do whatever it takes – argues with his neglected wife over breakfast while the hooded man, Tod (Chris Patrick-Simpson), can’t resist the ladies. There are even odd moments of tenderness between Raymond and Tod as they wait to assassinate British soldiers.

The play is as much about a struggle to maintain humanity as it is a thriller about betrayal. And a conversation between Tod and Raymond’s wives – promising London stage debuts from Chantelle Moore and Nuala McGrevy – about the price they’ve paid for their husbands’ principles is also moving.

A lengthy second half RUC interrogation briefly loses momentum but Morrison’s taut dialogue and Sarah Tipple’s understated direction create a sense of real menace and of how it is to live in this kind of warring, divided community.

Production Information

Pleasance, London, March 12-April 3

Author
Danny Morrison
Director
Sarah Tipple
Producer
New Strung Theatre Company
Cast includes
Brendan Mackey, Chris Patrick-Simpson, Tony Devlin, Liam McMahon
Running time
2hrs

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
^