Tom Ratcliffe’s haunting new play, Wreckage, explores how those we have loved and lost never truly go away. A young man, Sam, replays the moment that he inadvertently contributed to the horrific death of his fiancé, Noel, in a car accident, desperate to be able to turn back time. Racked by guilt and grief, he finds that Noel continues to live on in his mind. As the months and years pass, Sam works out his emotions in conversations with his dead lover as he tries to build a life out of the wreckage of his loss.
Directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair, it is a simple premise brilliantly executed, with two excellent performances by Ratcliffe himself and Michael Walters as Sam and Noel. Ratcliffe is particularly impressive in his layered portrayal of Sam who can be petulant and childish but also vulnerable and endearing. His inner and outer journeys are made more vivid by Rachel Sampley’s projection and lighting design on a stage that is otherwise bare aside from the tendrils of greenery from Noel’s garden. While loss and grief are at its core, Wreckage is not only moving and powerful but also funny and heart-warming and ultimately an uplifting story of love.
Wreckage runs at Summerhall at Edinburgh Fringe to 28 August 2022. Tickets at festival.summerhall.co.uk and edfringe.com.