This dark one-man play is full of energy and intensity as David William Bryan perfectly encapsulates the abject isolation of binman Keith Goodman, known to all as Goody.
Trashed deserves to be extended as a full-length play beyond the Fringe. It is that good.
Goading the audience in attendance, whilst at the same time confessing his darkest secrets to them, Goody is a forceful personality. The effect is a deeply claustrophobic and moving monologue, flashing back to the events in recent months that have brought his life to this point of despair. Sweating Strongbow cider and swigging can after can of it, he is attempting to silence the voices of those that he has lost and his own guilt in it all. He is loud, abrasive and unnerving, and, as a binman, completely used to people recoiling and avoiding him—an effect he intentionally brings about from those watching.
The play is set in a hidden fly-tipping area that Goody likes to withdraw to for thinking and drinking. Strewn with abandoned waste, the back seats pulled out of an abandoned car, a smashed disco ball, a solitary broom. It is sparse enough that the attention is focused solely on the protagonist, yet filled enough to create repulsion. He speaks a lot about the deep issues in his relationship with his wife, frequently utilising the forceful line—“she just gave me that look”—and he has reached the point where he is convinced that he cannot do anything right anymore. He now believes that the only look that anyone gives him must be confrontational.
The details that make up the narrative are only slowly revealed, and the excellent script written by Sascha Moore covers some of the heaviest topics imaginable in a way that inspires empathy and judgement in equal measure. Perhaps, towards the end, the dearth of further bleak details unravels too fast. Yet, that is not to say that Bryan in any way lets up control or precision in his performance, but just that there is almost too much for us as an audience to take in. This only suggests that Trashed deserves to be extended as a full-length play beyond the Fringe. It is that good.