- Eddie Harrison
- 8 August 2017
This article is from 2017.
Brutal monologue about a man's descent into landfill
It's time to get Trashed. This new play from Lab Rats features David William Bryan as Goody, the kind of character you'd cross the road to avoid; swigging cider from cans, he perches among piles of household waste, aggressively shouting about his lot.
Goody's lot, as described in Sascha Moore's monologue, is a pretty downbeat one. Goody's wife has left him after the loss of a child, and despite attending a counseling group, Goody's world seems to be falling apart. He's trying to keep up with events by opening and draining as many cans of booze as he can, but his sorrows are coming at him at such a pace that Goody can barely drink quickly enough to stave off despair.
As a play, Trashed has a big plus point, and that's Bryan's performance. A ferocious opening sees Goody railing at the audience with a smashed bit of wood, before breaking off with an apologetic 'Sorry, I thought you were someone else …' It's a moment that captures Goody's personality; rebarbative, yet timid and self-pitying, and Bryan does a great job in capturing the extremes of the character he plays. But that description also presents the weakness of Trashed; Goody goes so rapidly from one extreme to another that there's little room for nuance. Moore's play has more incident than it needs as domestic abuse, paedophilia and several untimely deaths rain down on Goody's wide shoulders.
Trashed seeks to find pathos in the bitter incidents of an outsider's life, but piles on the tragedy far too vigorously to make any one of the incidents sing. But if the writing needs a tweak, Bryan's sky-high performance levels keeps Trashed on the rails; it's a hot, sweaty, uncomfortable hour of theatre that will leave audiences with a desire for a wash afterwards.
Underbelly Cowgate, until 27 Aug, 1.40pm, £9.50–£10.50 (£8.50–£9.50).