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From 17 critic and 40 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great writing

About the show

When a fiercely independent, workaholic police officer receives an old cassette tape with a message from her big brother on it, she is propelled back to her vibrant childhood and forced to confront a tremendous loss. More…

'Replay' is the story of a woman revisiting her childhood, coming to terms with the significant pain of her past, and finally realizing that she needs to embrace the memory of her brother in order to move on with her life. With heart, honesty, and humor, this play explores what it is to grow up, accept loss, be vulnerable, and celebrate the past, however painful. Part of 59E59's 2018 Brits Off Broadway Festival.


"With Wren's talent for storytelling and Chilcott's superb direction, 'Replay' proves to be a totally captivating one-hour show...Effectively brings the audience right into W's life and her feelings of love and loss. It is a warm and wonderful piece of theater...Wren's riveting...You will feel an intimate connection to the moments Wren brings to life as she directly addresses the audience...An affecting show that you will long remember." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"An exceptionally poignant, bittersweet, and intense monologue-leavened with occasional humor...A less skilled writer-actor would make the confluence of things that befall W appear contrived...Wren's performance is astounding...She moves with fluid grace...It's riveting...Wren brilliantly juggles comedy and tragedy, and her presence has the emotive power to provoke empathy. This alone makes 'Replay' an important, unusual, and extremely satisfying work." Full Review


"To be sure, there are examples of talented playwrights who have also been able to tread the boards without tripping over their feet, or tongues. Harold Pinter, Noël Coward, Tracy Letts: they all come quickly to mind. Some theater historians have even argued that Shakespeare might have been a pretty good actor, too. But, still, it's exceedingly rare to find a playwright like Nicola Wren, who can bring her words to life with as much passion." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"The strengths of this tender play can be credited both to Wren's writing and to her performance. It is filled with the details that bring the seen and unseen characters to life...Wren gives us a portrayal that is most theatrical by effectively striking a balance between reticence and urgency...This is a lovely, heartfelt, and intimate work, beautifully performed by its creator and gently directed by Chilcott...It is a small package containing a lovely gem." Full Review

Pop Culturalist

"Brilliantly-done...She feeds us her story, bit by bit, and addresses us as it goes along, creating an intimate connection between performer and audience...Wren does a wonderful job of bringing all the characters, whether physically present or not, to life on stage. She seamlessly transitions from scene to scene and from the present to the past...The complex set of emotions that she brings to W are real and tangible. Needless to say, this is a memorable production." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Unlike the prawns its heroine, W, blames for being 'dodgy,' this dramatic morsel is easily digestible…Wren is energetic and engaging, changing her voice just enough to suggest different characters. She also offers some rather demanding physical business…Wren's script is filled with incident, characters, and sidebar comments...However, judging by some of W's behavior…one might wonder if she isn't in need of some serious therapy before she continues in her line of work." Full Review

Off Off Online

"Wren is a warm and lively performer, and she is a disarming raconteur for the hour-long show. Theatrics are kept to a minimum, and as directed by George Chilcott, the bare-bones production keenly highlights the importance of community and storytelling...The writing is generally quite strong, and what the play lacks in lyricism and poetry, it makes up for in sincerity and specificity. To both its credit and detriment, though, 'Replay' is not excessively sentimental." Full Review

Plays to See

"Weaving her way through the present, the past, and her haunted dreams, W brings the audience on an emotional ride...The language, character, and conceit are not quite unique enough to stick firmly in the mind. That being said, 'Replay' is a moving tribute to a sister’s love for her big brother and the devastation that can be wreaked when that is lost...Wren is particularly skilled at portraying other people through W’s gaze." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"A brief piece that hangs on an implausible twist and heads for a sentimental, too-easy conclusion. It seems to exist mostly as a calling card for Nicola Wren, who wrote and stars in it -- and if her writing is more professional than inspired, she is a thoroughly expert actress...Wren knows how to the take the stage and keep our attention...Chilcott's direction is sensible, steering the action away from any hint of the maudlin." Full Review

Everything Theatre (UK)

for a previous production "Laughter and tears chase each other in this intimate drama written and performed by the brilliant Nicola Wren. With a good dose of humour, she gives a potent account of her character’s experience as a female police officer and her struggle to come to terms with her brother’s tragic passing...In addition to having produced a resounding and rich script, Wren is a fresh and spirited performer....An enthralling and visceral delivery...A full-bodied theatre-maker." Full Review

Fringe Review (UK)

for a previous production "Strong storytelling, honesty, and humour are at the core of this new solo play in which Wren explores what it is to grow up, accept loss, be vulnerable, and celebrate the past, however painful...A beautifully nuanced piece of new writing. She moves fluidly between addressing the audience directly and creating scenes with her colleagues, family, brother, and others...A warm and witty play that addresses the sensitive topic of loss through a character and story that we could all identify with." Full Review

Theatre Weekly

for a previous production "'Replay' captures something special about a brother/sister relationship and gives us an insight to the devastation a suicide can bring. Wren gives an incredibly passionate performance, she goes from this entirely matter of fact Police Officer to wide-eyed child, opening up a chasm of grief that the audience are drawn in to...Cleverly written and expertly performed...Brutally honest, it celebrates vulnerability through heartfelt storytelling with a touch of endearing humour." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "A tense and atmospheric play which deftly explores loss, trauma, and determination...The script is replete with comic moments which counter-balance its poignant exploration of grief. Wren’s energetic performance is excellent to watch and her highly-strung physicality fits perfectly with W’s unacknowledged grief...A powerful and emotive production, 'Replay’s' excellent acting and rich characterisation make it well-worth seeing." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

for a previous production "A thoughtful character piece from writer and performer Nicola Wren...A warm, expressive performer, Wren conveys her nameless character’s conflicting emotions with clarity, slipping smoothly between the loose-limbed openness of a precocious child and the intense, ambitious adult she becomes. Her script has a pleasingly naturalistic rhythm, complete with a tendency to ramble, but nonetheless packed with smart callbacks and loops of repetition." Full Review

The Scotsman

for a previous production "Wren’s nameless lead, which she plays with beautiful understatement and empathy, is also likable and down-to-earth, pragmatic and capable...The piece has the stripped-back feel that comes with a one-woman show...The piece also turns into a touching, if sometimes nostalgia-filled, celebration of sibling relationships and how compassion and empathy – often derided for being 'sappy' or 'soft'– are both real skills and a vital part of policing." Full Review

British Theatre Guide

for a previous production "For an hour, Wren talks us through a visit to meet the relatives of a suicide, attempts to gain promotion and recollects encounters with her character’s much-loved elder brother. The writing is dense and builds slowly to an ending that justifies most of what has gone before, but 'Replay' has a tendency to feel like a short story elongated into a novella in order to fill the playing time. On the plus side, Wren is a dedicated performer who works hard to please her audience." Full Review

The Reviews Hub

for a previous production "The play demonstrates that a smart uniform, a breezy persona, and an air of calm authority cannot mask inner emptiness...Wren engages with the audience as if trying to restore calm after an incident. Her police constable is the sort of person that we feel comforted to know is protecting us – upright, straightforward, and optimistic. However, she is caught out by basic emotions that are common to us all and it is a fair cop." Full Review

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful

See it if you like inventive shows that take you into the mind of someone you might pass on the street and ignore.Intriguing look at life and loss.

Don't see it if you want a piece of fluff.This is very entertaining & a lot of fun. But it has something very important to say about personal vulnerability

Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if A chance to see an enormously gifted performer at the beginning of a big career.

Don't see it if Some people don't like solo shows. Too bad.

Great acting, Great writing, Riveting

See it if you want to see an exceptionally well-performed one-woman piece about a woman coming to realizations about her life.

Don't see it if you do not like plays about loss, that involve swearing, or have minimal sets.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant

See it if A riveting one actor play written and performed by a talented young woman that deals with grief, with humorous touches

Don't see it if You want to see large scale Productions that are less intimate

Excellent, Refreshing one actor role reliant on peformance and not tricks, Great body language and eye contact, Get to it !, Intimate

See it if Too many one actor shows rely on the gimmick of mutliple personalities - this shows us the depth of one relatable character facing loss

Don't see it if You want something light

Also This young playwright and actor gives us a perfect small play - in a t... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Intense, Moving

See it if You want to see one of the very best one actor shows on a stage here now. The actress/playwright is equally talented in both areas.

Don't see it if Only reason not to see this is if U really cannot enjoy a play that features a single performer ! If that describes you think about limits !

Great acting, Great staging, Touching, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy stories that absorb you into an emotional journey with just words, great acting and minimalist staging w/o theatrical artifacts.

Don't see it if you do not like one-actor shows or intimate settings for a play; or if you prefer great staging and wardrobe.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you enjoy being immersed in a well told story that illustrates its theme by creating a real character.

Don't see it if you prefer more elaborate productions to a small scale one woman play.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Hilarious

See it if you' like intelligent theater

Don't see it if you dont like solo shows

Strong and humane, Intimate solo performance, Well written, Compelling acting

See it if A carefully revealed story of coming to terms with past loss & love, told as one might a friend, emotionally & personally. Effectively...

Don't see it if staged in a small space & wonderfully acted. The more the character shares, the better you like her. Caveat: Challenges the "4th wall."

Clever, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you are willing to enjoy a one-woman show for an hour that is very well acted and staged.

Don't see it if you prefer more production values, big productions, etc. This is a simple, yet moving and well-orchestrated storytelling.

Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy a serious, well performed short monologue (only 60 minutes).

Don't see it if If you are looking for action and prefer plays and musicals.

Great acting, Resonant

See it if You want to see a quick, well-realized one-woman show about a meaningful relationship.

Don't see it if You're looking for a play that isn't sometimes jumpy.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you're interested in a show about coping with grief and the power of memory years later. Well-written and acted. A short, but resonant story

Don't see it if you don't like intimate solo shows which rely on the acting performance. You need to use your imagination, but actress takes you on journey.

Absorbing, Great acting, Touching

See it if A memory play. Very well written and acted. Poignant and touching

Don't see it if You don't like personal stories about loss.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if good theater-great acting

Don't see it if for intense subject matter.

Nicola wren is a lovely writer and actor

See it if Like a tender & fierce play re family, love, memory, grief. A moving show performed fearlessly w a lovely connection to the audience.

Don't see it if Don't like solo shows in tiny spaces, or care to explore young woman's memory/devotion to her late brother. Plot involves talk of suicide.

Also Saw this early May in the small black box theater of 59e59 during thei... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense

See it if You like some combinarion of monologues, the band James, and emotional growth.

Don't see it if There's a suicide pretty early on in the play that may be a bit much for some.

Touching, Poignant, Entertaining

See it if you like one-person shows with good acting and writing, but don't expect to be wowed.

Don't see it if you dislike one-person shows with very sparse sets that explore the character's past.

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You like Great acting serious subject matter in an intimate no frills setting. 1 hour

Don't see it if Suicide triggers you or you want something light in subject

Great acting, Great storytelling

See it if A brilliant performance in an intimate space. Ms. Wren makes great use of the space and limited props to bring us right into the story.

Don't see it if You prefer a solo show with a performer playing multiple characters. This is just very well executed storytelling without a lot of fanfare.

Good solo performance., Good solo show. interesting story.

See it if You like one person shows.

Don't see it if You don't like one person shows.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You like solo shows which will capture your interest. It’s a difficult subject matter that will pull on your heartstrings.

Don't see it if You only like splashy theatrical productions or sad subject matters.

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if If you like one person shows about a serious subject and when the person goes through a transformation.

Don't see it if You don't like one person shows in a small theater.

Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you like an accessible story and a solid performance from one actor.

Don't see it if you dislike undecorated solo shows or want a quirkier, less “everyman” type of character. Wren plays the same character throughout.

Also You kind of already know how things are going to unfold from the begin... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (10)