The Hampstead Theatre, London
Saturday 11th June - Saturday 24th July 2016

Streaming Now on The Hampstead Theatre’s Website and Youtube Page until 10pm on Sunday 5th April 2020, Mike Bartlett’s 2016 play feels heavily inspired by the Edward Snowden Movement from back in 2013, where he leaked highly classified information from the NSA. In Wild, We find Andrew (Jack Farthing) isolated away in a hotel room in Moscow, having that very same week changed the whole existence of his country through the simple touch of a button. Confined with only a cast of three in one setting, Wild takes you on a journey of mystery and intrigue, and most hits with it’s concept, if not aside from an overly-drawn out script and an unemotive presence from one of it’s characters.

The thrill of the theatre is when you are thrown straight into action with no real explanation. Bartlett’s script isn’t here to feed you constantly with the answers that you are looking for, more to the fact that it shoves questions upon layers of doubt, for we find Andrew interacting with the Woman (Caoilfhionn Dunne), a lady who goes by many names to keep her identity. At first, she comes across sloppy and irritating, with a rather erratic personality, though as the play unravels, it becomes clear that is exactly the intention for the scene. With the worry that Andrew might in fact end his life, there’s a brilliant moment of interaction as Farthing and Dunne discuss the possible ways, but of course Andrew has no intention commiting suicide, giving off a cool and collected vibe, as he simply has thought through his actions prior to the click of a button, for in fact he has lost a lot of people, such as his girlfriend Cindy.

John Mackay makes up the third actor in the trio who stage this tense outing, simply cast as ‘Man’. It’s here where I feel the direction and writing falls short in the way that ‘Man’ never feels as bold as Bartlett’s other two creations. Mackay on top of this also delivers a performance which is hard to read from an audience’s point of view, and amongst the trio will sure become the least memorable; it’s very much the case that Woman and Man are complete polar opposites to eachother, with Bartlett adding momentum when we are unsure, along with Andrew, to whether these two actually know each other or one is solely there to cover up a potentional murder, as for the majority of the production never appear in the same room with eachother present and deny their knowing of one another.

It’s easy to suddenly become sidetracked with these doubts though around twenty minutes before the climax of the play when something that only feels reminiscent from Orwell’s 1984 productions comes into fruition, all with the thanks from Consulting Illusionist Ben Hart. Saying anything more would completely give away the twist in the story, and even if some may sense through some odd staging and movement the whiff of something unusual prior to the reveal, it’s nevertheless compelling impressive, making you only wish that you were in auditorium to experience it in live movement; through the digital streaming provided, some cuts to capture close ups from the performers means that certain moments are lost from the sides of the stage in real time. This moment leaves the final scene of the production with sheer amazement and bewilderedness, right to the very moment that the lights dim on the production.

Overall, Wild is for the most part suspenseful with some rapid dialogue that puts you at the heart of solving a mystery along with Andrew at the forefront, and whilst the writing seems stretched with the arrival of Man and the lack of physical, direction movement, it’s hard not to be amazed by the skill and precision coming into the final stages that will leave your jaw scraping along the floor.


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