Review: The Wind In The Underground
Director: Lucy Clements
By Elisha Hammond
Starring: Michael Abercromby, Rowan Davie, Whitney Richards, Bishanyia Vincent
A brilliant exploration of the past’s influence on our present, told from the perspective of a broken family and its four very different siblings.
I didn’t quite know what to expect going into The Wind In The Underground. A short 50 word synopsis in the Fringe catalogue didn’t reveal all that much, so I went into the experience unaware of the general storyline and came out all the better for it. As a result, while I can’t tell you much about the plot of the play, I can definitely say that it’s worth your time and money.
The main characters are four drastically different siblings, leading lives that are entire worlds apart; in fact, the only thing that still connects them years on is their shared childhood nostalgia and the decaying family home. The rocky conflicts and passionate fights are like constant firecrackers, emphasised by the play’s brief duration and the actor’s stellar talent. Rowan Davie in particular is a cheeky and delightful standout.
The most intriguing element of The Wind In The Underground is the complex, difficult, yet oh-so-realistic family dynamic that jolts the story to life. As children, eldest siblings Andrea and Mitchell are fierce and fiery, constantly butting heads whilst the youngest two, Claire and Simon, watch on from a safe distance. Over the years, as brother and sister face new experiences, their characters keep traits of their childhood selves whilst evolving into older, not necessarily more mature people.
The contrast between the sibling’s memories and their modern lives as adults is impactful and jaunting. Subtly changing the lighting and the pitch in some scenes, the actors seamlessly jump between past and the present, looking back on bittersweet memories in an even more turbulent age. The transitions are easy enough to pick up on (when the actors want you to) and are a way for the audience to see just how much has changed over the years.
Despite all these superb elements, perhaps the most wonderful thing about this play exists off the stage itself, inspiring nostalgia and offering an opportunity to reflect on one’s own roots. After seeing the show with my Mum, we spent hours reminiscing about our own childhood memories, including the ways we fought and made amends with our siblings. The trip down memory lane was long overdue, giving us a chance to share with each other something we had not reflected on before.
It sparked a conversation and connected with our own stories. That’s what all good theatre does, and what makes The Wind In The Underground so memorable.
The Wind In The Underground features at Studio Underground from the 30th of January to the 3rd of February. Tickets can be purchased here.