Written and directed by Tracy Martin, Wrapped is a witty two-hander starring Aoibheann McCann and Andrea Cleary as two young Dublin girls caught up in the addictive party lifestyle, which ultimately leads to their arrests. Both the theme and crux of the tale is evident from the set itself: two boards decorated with hundreds of small clear bags filled with different coloured powders in a mosaic style brings drugs to the forefront of the agenda. However, it is not the outcome of the story, but the manner in which it is told, which really engages the audience from start to finish.
McCann and Cleary are the driving force who propel the text forward and are two very talented storytellers. Their physical casting fits well with the character’s opposing personalities. McCann’s presence and sharp wit as the snappy Lisa is nicely contrasted with Cleary’s innocent and impressionable portrayal of Ali. McCann, in particular, was extremely commanding on stage and clearly demonstrated Lisa’s instinctive maternal conflict which coloured her first seemingly one dimensional character. Her dominance is so strong that at the end, it is the question of Lisa’s guilt that we are left to ponder over, rather than the outcome of the two girls as a pair. Fortunately, the energetic performances help distract your eye from the weaker sound and lighting production, which watered down the overall impact of the piece.
You can’t help but draw parallels between the predicament the girls land themselves in, and the case of Michaella McCollum, the young girl from County Tyrone who was caught last year attempting to smuggle 11 kg of cocaine from Peru to Spain. The play explores the circumstances and catalysts that could potentially lead to such a situation. Martin takes the backdrop of the stagnant lives of the working class young in Dublin and peppers it with humour, at times relying on character stereotypes for a laugh – the bad boy drug dealer boyfriend and the uncaring landlord all make an appearance. Despite being slightly rough around the edges, Wrapped is a production full of humour and heart, written and delivered by a very talented company.
Wrapped runs at Smock Alley until the 13th September