The Trunk

Max Dickens in Association with DAA Management

Underbelly, George Square

From 03 August 2016 to 28 August 2016

Rating: ****

Review by Graeme Strachan

It's been said by some that the most surefire way to create audience curiosity is to show them a mystery box then slowly but surely reveal the contents.

In the case of The Trunk, there is a titular trunk filled with the possessions of an old woman who died alone, but the mystery itself revolves around a strange letter found in her home addressed to a boy named William.

Touting itself as a mystery, the play is also about one young man's struggle to uncover the meaning behind the letter, piecing together the mystery with his Grandad and himself learning to cope with the older man's struggle against his slowly diminishing memory and mind.

It's a simple enough tale, showing that the real captivation is always in the telling of a story and the slow measured revelation of facts that can lead to a satisfying, if not wholly unexpected, ending.

The Trunk has a great degree of heart and sympathy, dealing gently and realistically with the way younger people feel when confronted with their first real understandings of loss, age and death.

Max Dickens turns out to be both entertaining and sympathetic as he leads the audience through the journey that offsets its chucklesome snippets of humour, with snatched moments of real emotion. A mystery well worth seeing through.