Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

Wet Rep Season

Equinox Drama Production
Waterloo East Theatre
(2011)

Wet Rep Season poster image

This season is a showcase for younger writers, directors and performers that features seven short works, played in various groupings. The remainder will be reviewed separately.

Bender by Anna Jordan

Anna Jordan, who also directs, has written stream of barely conscious-ness comedy that has echoes of John Godber.

It starts trickily, as she is so keen to rev up the pace that her actors gabble their lines unintelligibly. We gradually gather that they are a trio of London flatmates.

Chris Urch is nervous, insecure Fibs (who does), a scaffolder with vertigo, while Matthew Gammie's bragging Billy is a slick, if boring, pie salesman.

Natasha Campbell completes the household as their friend Lizzy, by far the best written and played character. She is a recovering drug addict who (wo)mans sex lines and hankers after a better class of career in pole dancing.

The trio have little in common but after Billy receives bad news from an old flame, they go on a night-long bender.

Anna Jordan probably renders the evening faithfully, as the trio ingest untold volumes of intoxicants, get chucked out of pubs and into clubs, before ending up blasted at home 80 of our minutes later.

The issue with Bender is that other than portraying three twenty-somethings trying to escape their common or garden problems, not all that much happens.

It relies of audience members recognising themselves or more likely their friends in one or another of the characters, or possibly taking the play in the spirits in which it was intended rather than stone cold sober.

Anna Jordan presents flashes of inspiration and wit both as writer and director, and her cast show great commitment, but the material needs something extra to add drama or pathos.

Laundry by Jo Stokes

Laundry is a 20 minute monologue delivered by Lucy Roslyn playing a young American woman, Kate.

It starts out rather like Shirley Valentine, as she reminisces over the ironing about the difficulties of supermarket shopping, which were so great that she got banned.

The tale develops as we discover that following the departure of her boyfriend, Kate has become agoraphobic with more than a touch of the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher