Wasted

Emma (Serena Jennings) and Oli (Will Merrick) meet on a chaotic, booze-fuelled night out. They do some shots, flirt, have a bit of a laugh and end up having sex. But is it consensual or not? And what does consent look like? Is it a clear cut, one off event or a continuous agreement? These are the questions at the centre of No Prophet Theatre's relevant and energetic one act drama Wasted.

Jennings and Merrick are a talented duo, who effortlessly switch between a range of characters.

The interactive opening transports you straight into the middle of Emma and Oli's drunken and shambolic evening. This is presumably to give you a brief taste of the loud and disorienting environment that they're in. But it's an awkward device which means that you're not properly introduced to the characters, able to get to know them or get a grip on their circumstances, until well after everything's kicked off.

It’s minimally staged, with the cast dressed in black, while Emma and Oli's fragmented accounts are told using an artfully assembled selection of flashbacks, flash forwards and asides. Which means you have to try to piece together what actually happened between them, using often contradictory snapshots of the situation.

Jennings and Merrick are a talented duo, who effortlessly switch between a range of characters. And Merrick's confident performance, as Emma's confidant Kate, injects short bursts of humour into the proceedings.

Although this two hander is well acted, its rapid pace means it isn't able to cut deeply into the topic of sexual consent. And it shines a much-needed light on pervasive rape myths, and outmoded stereotypes of villain rapists who aren't known to their victims, but doesn't always challenge them directly. Despite its positive intentions and important and emotive subject matter, Wasted isn’t quite as compelling, or emotionally affecting, as you’d expect it to be.

Reviews by Dawn Kofie

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★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Based on true events. An engaging and unsettling drama in one act. Wasted explores the grey area in consensual sex and how outside pressures can blur the lines of what did happen and what we think happened. This dark drama puts the audience in the jury seat and forces us to make a judgement on a crime which is based on feelings and emotions rather than fact and evidence. Starring Will Merrick (Skins, About Time) and Serena Jennings. From the writer of Belfast Boy, 2014 Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre Award.