When Wink the cat vanishes, his disappearance and the circumstances behind it sparks a chasm of need in all who he has come into contact with. The immediate answer seems to be Enya. For Gregor anyway. Gregor (Graeme McRae) is one of Wink’s reluctant caretakers, along with partner Sofie (Eloise Snape).
Without knowing it, Wink (Sam O’Sullivan) is the catalyst for the great need that these characters possess and Primal Scream Therapy takes on new meaning when we meet Dr Frans, the therapist that Sofie and Gregor are both seeing, except he urges them to push their feelings down, hoping for a repression of feelings rather than expression.
When Wink miraculously turns up alive, he too seeks out the good Doctor, there is a hilarious role-reversal as Dr Frans gets the shrink treatment from Wink, and before you can say Meow-Mix, Frans is reduced to a quivering wreck after falling for Wink’s charms.
A very funny and curiously erotic tale of human frailty and desire with a good dose of whimsy, Wink explores a troubled relationship and the need for re-invention when maintaining the status quo becomes untenable. Unfortunately the road to self-discovery is not an easy one, especially for Gregor, who seeks darker and more violent pleasures.
Graeme McRae and Eloise Snape work well together as the couple who have reached crisis point. The anguish that accompanies their transition is beautifully played out by both with anger walking hand in hand with vulnerability. Matthew Cheetham also exposes great vulnerability and Sam O’Sullivan as Wink expertly teases out the contradictions in Dr Frans’ character. O’Sullivan is a perfect combination of sage and cheek, impatient with the humans and their
persistent tendency to overlook the basic needs of the feline.
Director Anthony Skuse also expertly teases out the elements running through Wink with an emphasis on the queer and the resistance to convention. Ultimately the play deftly turns the formerly prevailing convention on its head.
Wink is presented by Wheels & Co Productions and bAKEHOUSE Theatre Company and is on until 24 August, for more information and tickets see: http://www.kingsxtheatre.com/wink
Director: Anthony Skuse
Featuring: Eloise Snape, Matthew Cheetham, Graeme McRae and Sam O’Sullivan as Wink the Cat.
Above image by Robert Catto