The Wheel Review

Submitted by Al Innes on Fri, 26 Aug '11 7.51pm
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
National Theatre of Scotland
Vicky Featherstone (director), Zinnie Harris (writer)
Catherine Walsh (Beatriz), Olga Wehrly (Rosa) & Rebecca Benson (child)
Running time

As Beatriz and her little sister Rosa put final preparations in place for the youngest woman's wedding, intruders arriving with the groom change their world forever.

Barking officer in tow, the thirsty new conscripts that invade their sleepy farmhouse are intent on pillaging everything they can for the war effort. The fallout includes a little girl lost and looking for her father. In a moment of humanity, and no little stubbornness Beatriz takes the girl to find him and sets in motion a sprawling journey across time and space.

Catherine Walsh carries us along, as the feisty Beatriz, frustrated and humbled in equal measure, while Olga Wehrly plays a Rosa that is captivating enough to make us share Beatriz desire to get back home.

"I don't know anything about children, I'm not even sure I like them." Beatriz explains to us as the story begins. Yet she takes on the task of accompanying the child throughout an ageless war. Can they witness so much without being affected?

By the final curtain, their shared experience has redefined everything that Zinne Harris' play sets up in that sleepy Spanish farmhouse. The plaudits that The Wheel have gathered already speaks volumes, and it doesn't disappoint.

It's harrowing, challenging and epic in scope. It does all this though, by thrusting us into the intimate moments of the characters. Performances transcend the casting, and we are able to cover an enormous geographical and spiritual region in the space of ninety minutes.

Show times: Til 28 August. Times vary.

Ticket prices:  £17