The Fetch Wilson
Reviewed – 11th October 2019
“Mullane begins by winning us over with warm Irish charm, before dropping the temperature of the auditorium as Wilson’s story proceeds”
Stewart Roche’s adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe tale is currently showing at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington as part of the 2019 London Horror Festival. The Fetch Wilson is a nicely updated version of the Poe original, and takes place mostly in Ireland, which plays to the strengths of the talented young Dublin company, the Corps Ensemble, which produced it. The title is updated, as is the name of the character telling the story—Liam Wilson—but to explain any further would give the game away in this tautly written psychological thriller. In brief, The Fetch Wilson is a sixty minute monologue about an ordinary man surrounded by people so much more memorable than himself. However, when Wilson discovers his life’s passion through cards then all bets are off. In a series of ever more catastrophic encounters with a mysterious doppelgänger, Wilson is forced to confront the darker corners of his personality, and discover who he really is.
Skilled raconteur Edwin Mullane is the actor playing Liam Wilson, and, directed by Jed Murray, he holds the attention of the audience effortlessly for the entire sixty minutes. Performing on a bare stage decorated by playing cards, and dressed like a dissolute fraternity boy after a particularly awful costume party, Mullane begins by winning us over with warm Irish charm, before dropping the temperature of the auditorium as Wilson’s story proceeds. It’s a treat to watch the way in which he uses Roche’s script to carefully plant the clues that lead to the denouement. Roche also provides him with several lines designed to get laughs, so that there is humour to lighten the scare factor as well. The only weakness—if it can be called a weakness—is how this denouement is managed on stage with only one actor. But it still succeeds in packing the appropriate psychological punch.
The Fetch Wilson is one of the first shows to go up in a promising start to the 2019 London Horror Festival. So if you enjoy theatre designed to explore life’s darker side, then hurry over to Islington for your pre-Hallowe’en fix. You will be happy to hear that there is an abundance of horrific dramas awaiting you at both the Old Red Lion Pub Theatre, and the Pleasance Theatre, until November 2nd.
Reviewed by Dominica Plummer
Photography by Tristan Fennel
The Fetch Wilson
Pleasance Theatre until 14th October as part of London Horror Festival
Last ten shows reviewed at this venue: