OFS reviewer and usher Lucy saw Wherein, in June 2021.

Written by Emma Webb and directed by Emel Yilmaz Holifield, Wherein is a touching and intelligent look into relationships (with the self, others and how these are linked), loss and boxes. Following the death of his mother, James (Donald Craigie) is attempting to pack up and sort out the belongings in her house. His spouse, Eva (Elizabeth Dobson), tries to help. But nothing is simple. James is overwhelmed by his loss, obsessed and overcome by his relationship to his mother and his perceived failure to live up to her expectations. This extends to his relationship with Eva: James refuses to believe that she can accept him, as he truly is.

Raw and relatable, Wherein is an intimate exploration of intimacy and the interpersonal. It is in turns funny and frustrating as James and Eva stumble over packing, un-packing and unpicking. Delightful and disastrous, little is resolved.

Wherein takes an often painful peep into identity and gender. James’ ambivalent feelings towards his mother seem to cloud his attitudes towards Eva. This is ultimately to his detriment as Eva seems to embody acceptance itself. He is blind to what’s in front of him and makes the audience want to rip their hair out. Eva’s helping hand is stepped on and waved away repeatedly.

Because I’m a soppy cow, I really just wanted them to work it out. Get James to reach out to Eva, not tell her what she should think according to his dreary, dead mum. But it’s interesting because that doesn’t happen. It shines in subtlety and nuance. It grabs your heart and gets you involved. Wherein, we all unravel.

car-crash communication. ripyourhairout. Eva is actually a saint. Nothing straightforward. BOXES. r 4 sellinghouses. tunes.