The Royal Court never ceases to amaze. Priding itself in great original writing, I keep expecting to come and not enjoy myself. Willing there to be something that I come away and not like, or be slightly unenthused with. But it never happens. And I am so glad it never happens.
Wish List a coproduction with Royal Court Theatre/Royal Exchange Theatre and written by Katherine Soper, (Winner of the 2015 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting) has a very inventive but minimal set. A conveyor belt that comes down from the ceiling and parts that are moveable around the stage, basing much of itself as a prop in the house which evidently is always on stage also, situated at the far end. A basic shower unit and kitchen, this is a basic home for a brother and sister duo that are far from simple.
Tamsin (played by Erin Doherty) and Dean (Joseph Quinn) are troubled siblings with a troubled past. Evident in his continual repetitive movements, the pair are struggling to meet ends with Dean’s incapability of working due to his OCD disability and Tamsin’s lack of time to work with helping him each day. Through the course of 1 hour and 40mins, we see them both grow together as people and as siblings, coping with one another’s issues and developments.
Our other characters are Luke (Shaquille Ali-Yebuah) and Tamsin’s new boss (Aleksandar Mikic) fit like a glove into the narrative. Each character has its own presence on stage and the performers do well to make them so different from one another.
Quinn has the uneasy job of making his ticks and repetitive gestures seem realistic; to show his uneasy sense around even his sister and problem with being touched. It is so naturalistic and probable that I felt myself wondering if he was even acting. But the real challenge lies on Doherty. She is not void of problems herself and is evidently an anxious, nervous, problematic person in herself while also being strong for her brother. She is so incredible with this that again, I struggled to not fall into the imaginative of the piece, which felt as if someone had taken away the window to this pair’s life.
Wish List from its set to the performers to the writing is nothing less than extraordinary and so perfect that one feels like an intruder into the private.