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Wrecked review at Assembly, Edinburgh – ‘more package than content’


Four times a day an audience of six sits in a damaged car as the driver wakes up and tries to remember what brought her here.

The story she pieces together involves being fascinated by a charismatic petty criminal and eventually joining her in minor and then major law-breaking. This leads to a disastrous attempt to escape the police.

Playwright Jonathon Carr reaches for some psychological depth in Wrecked, by suggesting a lifelong tendency in the woman to search for heroes and protectors, and there are random hints that not everything she tells us is accurate or even true.

But the car wreck itself comes at the very end of the narrative and is not really central to either the story or the characterisation. You can’t fully escape the suspicion that the setting is just a gimmick.

Actress Kristy Bruce pitches her performance effectively to the very intimate setting, while developing the text’s suggestions into a believable and sympathetic character.

Those who have never experienced a production in such an unconventional staging (and Edinburgh does seem to have a play set in a car every couple of years) are likely to go away remembering ‘that play in the car’ more than the story or performance.

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Play performed in a wrecked car will impress more by its package than its content.