Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Checking In With Fringe Encores: Part 2

As you enter the SoHo Playhouse for Wasted, an Edinburgh Fringe transfer, there is a fun, club-like energy. Loud music plays, lights flash, and the actors, Serena Jennings and Will Merrick, act like bouncers, directing audience members to their seats and asking for IDs. As the hour goes on, the fun starts to fade into questions of what constitutes consent when drinking.

This is a topic that's been explored before on television (especially well-done last season on Switched at Birth), film, and theater, but as long as these things continue to happen, these stories need to be told. And Kat Woods manages to find a fresh take in her format--brief scenes, which sometimes place the audience in a similar disorientated state of mind as the characters. Oli (Merrick) and Emma (Jennings) meet at a club through their friends and end up spending the night together, but the exact events are a puzzle for both the audience and characters to figure out. Merrick and Jennings play all the characters and without resorting to exaggeration, they make it easy to distinguish between them all.

Woods writes believable dialogue that feels very true to the culture of nightlife in the UK. It was a smart move not to change the language for an American audience. The slang might be different, but the events could just as easily happen here.

Remaining performances are October 21 at 8 and October 22 at 7 pm.

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