Review: Wrong Number (Edinburgh Fringe, online)

The Edinburgh Makars present Wrong Number by Mike Appleby, which runs on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe’s Fringe Player.

We are watching the residents of Heather Avenue, who are stuck in their homes during lockdown. Left to chat on Zoom and by phone, they become plagued by a particularly dense couple of burglars.

John Scott Moncrieff directs this piece, which is fairly amusing but needs a slight uplift in pace. I enjoyed some performances – particularly Sheila Clarke’s dotty yet determined Susan, who has a warm and chatty manner.

Wrong Number has elements of farce about it, but that’s hard to maintain even at a running time of forty-five minutes. It’s a good attempt, though, and picks up pace when the burglars bungle and end up almost crossing off each other.

With the residents of Heather Avenue starting to get not just irritated but slightly suspicious, we get an interesting window into their lives – Catherine the doughty dowager, Duncan the slightly snippy quizzer, Moira the nervous neighbourhood watcher, Peter who is the chair of the residents association.

I was a little distracted by some of the actors clearly reading from scripts, even though Wrong Number is not billed as a reading. This could have easily been fixed as this digital production is pre-recorded.

Overall, this is a decent production of an entertaining glimpse into a typical street of older people and their problems, preoccupations … and the mystery of Mr McTavish.

Fringe rating: ***

You can stream Wrong Number on the Fringe Player until the end of August: buy your ticket here.

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