Written and directed by Joan Greening, Scammed is a two-hander thriller set on the third floor of an office block.
As Julia Murrow’s nervous debtor is visited by Stu Jackson’s solicitous mystery man, we are as perplexed as she is about the real nature and identity of “Mr Smith”.
Aside from the sweeping shot over blocks and buildings, this is a simple two-location piece with the characters filmed separately. There is a lot of questioning, repetition and cross-purpose talking before the inevitable conclusion.
This is never really about “scamming”: rather, chasing, pursuing, hiding. Murrow’s predicament is never fully explored, or her situation explained. Neither is the time or place revealed which would instill so much fear in her.
Now, if you know your mythology from the ancient Aztecs, Mr Smith’s given forename may give the game away about his role in this story. If that name is so important, there’s more to explore than we see in the play’s current form.
For me, Scammed has potential but needs a bit more energy and focus to fully work. The contrast between the heightened, emotional state of Murrow’s Anne and the cool professionalism of Jackson’s Mr Smith is good, but not quite enough to pull a viewer into this story.
Scammed is currently streaming as part of Online@TheSpace’s second digital season. It is produced by Drunken Sailor. For more details, go here.