A Younger Theatre review We Never Land

It’s hard to be a daedalist when you’re cooped up in a call centre, so, with a head full of words and dreams, Wendy quits her job to seek out art and adventure. We join her in the attic of her house where’s she’s filming a video message for her 93-year-old Gran. “If you’re watching this then I’m already dead,” she says. She’s just stolen a priceless painting and the police are on their way.

Wendy is a poet and “daedalist” is her favourite word. She tells us that anyone who flies is a daedalist, from a fighter pilot to a cat who falls out of a window but always lands on her feet. But We Never Land is littered with Icarus imagery and we all know that if you fly too close to the sun then you’re going to get burned. The cat of this story is Wendy’s new friend Catriona. “It only works for cats”, Wendy says with a frown. Humans can’t survive a fall like a cat can.

Newly unemployed and at a loose end, Wendy wishes she could fly and never land. Instead she settles for getting high with Catriona, a painter whose own dream is to crash her car into a tree because she thinks it would be beautiful. It’s not long before their new and vital friendship becomes dangerous.

We Never Land is a little bit political with a glimmer of anarchism but it’s mainly an exploration of the highs and lows of the mind of an artist. Wendy wanders around the cardboard box set, taking us on a tangential tour of her wild imagination. It’s a really beautiful and deeply engaging little piece, with Kenny Boyle’s touching monologue brought to life by Clare Sheppard’s impressive performance. The message on mental health creeps up slowly but hits hard and leaves its audience with a lot more to chew on than the free fairy cakes.

We Never Land is at C nova (Venue 145) until 25 August. For more information and tickets visit the Edinburgh Fringe website.