Blisteringly funny, audacious, and moving, watching Scrawl’s Chapel Street (written by Luke Barnes) is akin to taking a shot of vodka, followed by a bottle to the face. Following the disillusioned Joe and Kirsty on a binge-drinking bender of epic proportions, their initially unconnected monologues of university dreams and deadbeat ambition collide in a heady combination of piss, beer, and shaving foam.
Two microphones and one luggage trolley - overloaded with deflated balloons, discarded shoes, and empty bottles - comprise the set. Both characters appear isolated in the cavernous vastness of the space; their separate streams of consciousness layer over each other, interrupting but never meeting.
They are dissatisfied: Kirsty is sick of her shallow, party-going friends; the way her teachers don’t treat her seriously; she has dreams of studying psychology at university, but is uncertain of how to make that a reality. Joe is everything she doesn’t want to become: a binge-drinking no-hoper who still lives with his mum.
The language is lyrical, yet viscerally honest. When sex isn’t quite going how Joe had planned, he says to himself: ‘Flip her over, like in American Pyscho, yeah!’ Meanwhile, Kirsty confesses unabashed how her first boyfriend’s attempts at intimacy left her not turned on, but bleeding. Delivered with the utmost conviction, their irreverent statements on life are shocking, but often hilarious.
When their disjointed narratives finally meet, when boy meets girl, events do not unfold as expected, and each character is irrevocably changed by the experience. Yet it was just one of a thousand nights drinking on Chapel Street.