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Wednesday (Salford)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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Following its 2009 premiere and prior to a run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Ian Winterton’s psychological comedy horror play is playing for two performances only at the Lowry in Salford.

As the performance opens we see Rose blindfolded, gagged and tied to a bed. In the corner is Daniel, also tied up and wearing a wolf mask. Into the room bursts Curtis, unstable and apparently mad. But all is not quite as it seems and through the course of the short one act play the forces that link the three characters are revealed and they enter a battle of wills that doesn’t end happily.
It’s not a desperately original concept but it is well written. Each character is clearly defined and their back stories effectively dealt with. What lets it down is how it limps to its final moments. There is no build up to the climax both in the narrative and the live action. If this were addressed I think the shock factor would be heightened and the audience more fulfilled.

The three actors all have talent. Although Simon D Bates tends to gabble his lines as volatile Curtis, he holds himself well and his performance is gritty and real. Garry Graham-Smith’s Daniel is alarmingly unstable particularly towards the end and Ruth Middleton is extremely good as Rose, the most sane, but not innocent, of the three.  

I found the latter half of the play confusing, but I don’t think this is a reflection on the overall writing. Unfortunately at the pivotal moment when the link between the three characters is explained a woman at the end of my row decided she had had enough and noisily tramped over everyone else in the row announcing loudly that it was "rubbish."

She is wrong. Wednesday may be flawed and lacking on the comedy front and without a doubt is disturbing which makes for a not particularly enjoyable experience, but it is not at all rubbish.

- Matthew Wallace


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