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Wet Feet

2
Seen at the Union Theatre
By Derek - 21st Jun 2024

"So what was the point then?" That was the last line in the penultimate scene in Wet Feet. Sadly, it made me agree, with regard to this dated and underwritten play. Many references and emotions seemed more fitted to a generation older than those characters portrayed., even though it was written by Michael Neri who played Franko. It was neither funny enough nor sufficiently dramatic to evince any enthusiasm from me.

Working with an attractive set representing a private cubicle in a gay sauna, surrounded by a black space, director Dominic Rouse made some odd decisions. When the main playing area is a raised dais including a door, why have a character walk around the door to enter from the side where there would be a wall? And in the final scene played outside the room, as soon as Nathan said "Let's sit down", I thought, "No, not on the floor of the room they're not in!" But they sat on that floor, compromising our acceptance of the different spaces.

If you have a big argument, why set it in the corridor outside the room the audience is watching, so they can't see it? And fading to black for the sex scene is a cop-out. Rose Ryan as intimacy and movement coach needed to concentrate more on movement. The wrestle/ tussle was poorly executed which made it awkward in the wrong way.

It all seemed on one level with little pace, but unlikely emotional jumps. The actors moved without motive; it appeared as if they were just changing the picture. There were many silent phases and freeze frames: striking a variety of arty poses doesn't add drama.

As Nathan, Matthew Edgar is effective but needs more vocal power. He could have shown more drive from the start. Michael Neri could have been more fastidious in his OCD which might have made his character more believable.

There are some good laugh lines, but they tended to get in the way of the story. The play has potential but the production needs a lot of work.

Derek Benfield


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