Writer and Director: Tracy Martin
Reviewer: Caitriona M. Reilly
After her mother dies, Ali allows Lisa to move in following a break up with her tattooed, drug dealer, ex-boyfriend. The duo become close friends who turn to a lifestyle of heavy partying and drug use to mask their otherwise mundane and depressing lives. As Ali fails to make the rent and Lisa’s affair with her boss turns sour, the troubled twosome escape to India. Desperate to get home after getting the shock of her life, Lisa befriends some drug dealers and dreams up a plan to make some quick cash. As Ali and Lisa head to the airport with their knickers lined with bags of cocaine, they both know that their lives are about to change forever.
Wrapped is a play which demonstrates the brilliance of Tracy Martin’s satirical wit. The play draws inspiration from the real life headlines of the young drug mules, The Peru Two. The tongue-in-cheek dialogue makes a number of shrewd references to a range of issues affecting Irish women today. After Lisa divulges that she had an abortion in Liverpool at eighteen, Ali turns to the audience and says she doesn’t have a “cool abortion story” to tell. As Ali dreams of “freedom” Lisa retorts that the two of them would have been in a “laundry” back in the day. These subliminal references draw the empathetic audience into the desperate experiences of the young women while discreetly highlighting the contemporary Irish social issues at hand.
Despite a slow, nervous beginning to the performance, Andrea Cleary (Ali) and Aoibhéann McCann (Lisa) quickly gained momentum to deliver great performances. They drew energy from the laughing audience with McCann particularly milking the response as Lisa. Cleary successfully portrayed the dowdy Ali invoking moments of humour with her exasperated asides while McCann was exceptional as the enigmatic Lisa. Despite their individual performances, it was the chemistry between the two actors which helped make this a great production.
There were a few awkward transition scenes and a small number of unnecessary blackouts (perhaps just noticeable to this reviewer). Nevertheless, there was a great collaboration of sound and lighting by Justine Murphy (Sound Designer), Sarah Jade Evendon (Dance Music Artist), and Nell Conneally (Lighting Designer).
The end of the production was greeted with a deserving standing ovation. Between the clever writing and outstanding performances, Wrapped is a thoroughly enjoyable and original production in this year’s Fringe line-up.
Photo courtesy of Tiger Dublin Fringe. Runs until Saturday 13th September as part of the Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival.