‘Wish List’ by Katherine Soper explores the hardships of dealing with mental illness through our government’s broken system, it also displays the shocking conditions of working for conglobates like Amazon. This production is currently running every second day till the 28th August at The Space Triplex as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.
Chloë Johnson as Tasmin Carmody delivers a devastating performance as we follow her struggles both in the warehouse and back at home. Chloë’s portrayal is one of naturalism and honesty. The stress and emotion are not overplayed, neither are they too subtle. Chloë’s delivery of Tasmin’s journey leaves the audience truly engaged and endeared by the torturous routine she goes through. This is a very strong performance from a promising actress.
Michael Robertson as Dean Carmody presents us with a young man struggling with mental illness. Michael’s performance is laced with nuances which do not overstate Dean’s struggles, they instead deliver a realistic portrayal of someone who faces injustice from the government’s support system. Michael does well to balance the complexity of Dean’s struggles, while also making him open enough for the audience to feel empathy with the situation he finds himself in. This is a well thought out and complex portrayal from Robertson.
Josh Dobinson as Luke Martin delivers us a role which brings a brighter perspective into the narrative. Josh’s comedic and energetic presence in the scenes, which could be far darker, brings a lighthearted scope which perhaps is needed to dilute some of the serious issues explored. Josh’s portrayal here is naturalistic and great fun to watch.
Jack Elvey plays The Lead, a very serious and unlikeable character at first. The stern coldness portrayed by Jack in the beginning of the play perfectly sets up the environment of the warehouse. The sharp and blunt deliveries of the dialogue truly isolate the audience from connecting with the character. However, as the narrative goes on, we see Jack begin to open up The Lead and naturally let the audience see his perspective while still retaining his initial characteristics. This is an intriguing and engaging performance to watch.
Katherine Soper’s script is driven by the characters featured, their struggles are what drives the intrigue of the narrative. Katherine does well to write natural dialogue and not shoehorn in jargon for the warehouse setting or the issues surrounding Dean’s support. Instead, it is a realistic scope where the characters inform the audience of their difficult obstacles in a believable and natural pace. Ian Dunn’s direction does well to translate this naturalism onto stage while also adding in a contemporary and fast paced vision.
Jessica Reid’s lighting design enhances the idea of each environment with a good variation in colours matching the tonality perfectly. Jessica’s sound design also matches the contemporary style of this production, however at points it can be a bit repetitious when it comes to the transition between scenes.
Overall, ‘Wish List’ is a contemporary play which explores highly relevant themes and issues that are facing members of the Scottish public. This production features a talented group of actors who deliver naturalistic and energetic performances, engaging the audience from start to finish.
Get your tickets for ‘Wish List’ below: