The Fetch Wilson

Wed 1st – Mon 27th August 2018

reviews

Verity Kim

at 09:41 on 19th Aug 2018

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'The Fetch Wilson’ transports you into the seedy back-alleys of modern-day Dublin, exploring themes of self-identity and violence. It centres around the story of two Liam Wilsons, and how their lives intertwine. The show is narrated by the less interesting of the two Liam Wilsons, who describes himself as painfully mediocre in comparison with his doppelgänger. As stated in the blurb, the show takes heavy inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe and Chuck Palahniuk, and the influence is clearly visible yet not too obvious.

The dim red light conveys the gritty violence and seediness of the setup, and the dangling cutouts of playing cards – a king, a queen, and a joker – are the only objects that furnish the stage. It’s like a bizarre Irish Fight Club, but performed entirely as a monologue. The show is ingeniously written, and the language is absolutely convincing. It draws you into the internal workings of Liam Wilson’s mind, and suspense is maintained carefully throughout the entire show.

'The Fetch Wilson' lends itself amazingly to Edwin Mulane’s talents as an actor, who, in the role of Liam Wilson, is utterly convincing. Dressed in boxer shorts and a bathrobe, he pours forth his story with an alarmingly desperate look in his eyes. The actor meshes well with the show’s dark sense of humour, and his ability for storytelling shines through. It was as if I myself was accompanying Liam Wilson down the dark, damp alleys of Dublin, and the visceral quality of the images jumps out at you. Despite the fact that the ending is fairly predictable (especially if you’ve seen Fight Club), the pure charisma of the actor creates a palpable tension within the room.

‘The Fetch Wilson’ is a remarkable psychological study of one man’s struggle with his identity, a seamless thriller that will delight fans of Palahniuk and Poe alike. It’s worth skipping brunch for, and that’s saying a lot.

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Millie Haswell

at 10:18 on 19th Aug 2018

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There is nothing like a dressing gown to convey utter despair.

Liam Wilson, played by a charismatic Edwin Mullane, has flirted with danger all his life; you could tell that from one look at his roguish grin and cocky manner. Liam, a thirty-ish Dubliner, tells us early on and in no uncertain terms that he has stabbed someone. The whole hour of the performance feels like a frozen moment in time, hovering like the giant playing cards on strings around the stage. It is the morning after the crime, but Stewart Roche’s script is no "I’m too young to go to prison" hysteria – Liam just seems mildly bemused and fascinated by his actions.

“If you’d told me last week that I was going to hurt someone, I wouldn’t have believed it. You could have knocked me down with a feather.” Liam glances around at the audience. “But I did.” His interaction with us is always engaging, maintaining eye contact throughout, pulling us along on his journey as he pieces together life events culminating in a murder.

So much about this play is founded in intrigue. How did Liam, once an advertising big shot fresh out of private school, wind up here, in his boxers and a bathrobe? He’s evidently a story teller, giving us scraps of information or anecdotes with a twinkling smile, before darkening as he considers the impact this had on his life. “There’s always one kid who takes Smiths songs too seriously”, he says of a boy who hanged himself at his school. You laugh knowingly along with him, only faintly uneasy of his sinister flippancy; he is compelling and we enjoy his company, forgetting that he is a murderer.

At times, he starts to ramble, descending into chatter about his past which becomes hard to follow. Roche’s script, though, burns certain images in our minds’ eyes: fights in poker clubs, blood-soaked tarot cards, a library book belonging to a dead boy.

‘The Fetch Wilson’ is an hour of brilliantly dark storytelling: you’ll leave the theatre blinking at the sunlight and reconsidering the honesty of every person around you.

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