Small cast pose big questions about sexual consent
This article is from 2015.
Set within a 24-hour time period, Wasted follows the story of Emma and Oli, young adults who meet on a night out, exploring the repercussions of their drunken one-night stand and the nature of consent.
The problem of opening a two-person show with a busy nightclub scene is cleverly conquered by the pair playing bouncers, who gather the audience on the dancefloor (stage) until the club 'shuts' and we're allowed into the roped-off VIP area (the seating). The duo skilfully shift between a multitude of characters. Their gender-swapping portrayal of each others' best friends, sassy Kate and laddish Charlie, are particularly funny. Staging is minimal, black clothes, no props and only two tables for a set, allowing for the scripts frequent scene changes, flashbacks and, sometimes unnecessary, scene repetitions.
The main characters are highly relatable, as is the formula of a night out – losing each other in the club, drunken voice mails, no-nonsense bouncers. This familiarity and the decision not to portray Oli as aggressive, calculating or other characteristics associated with a rapist stereotype make for uncomfortable watching as the audience are forced to decide where the capacity to consent stops and sex becomes rape.
Gilded Balloon, 622 6552, until 31 Aug (not 18), 12.15pm, £10–£11.