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Review of Wet by Screw Productions at Theatre N16

WetNewly opened and still finding its feet at the back of multi-media space Styx in Tottenham Hale, Theatre N16 is dedicating itself to bringing to the fore new theatre companies and new ideas, and although research is somewhat sketchy about the precise details, it certainly seems like Screw Productions – the duo bringing us Wet – are a new company trying to approach things in a new way.

Wet is the story of friends Holly and Sophie (played by Tamsin Newlands and Claire Heverin) who are strapped for cash and looking to break into the cinematic world with a short film. To raise funds for their staider work, they decide to write and shoot a pornographic film. This understandably proves tougher than it first appears and the exploration of what might make a successful adult film, alongside Holly and Sophie exploring what they each want from a partner, forms the backbone of the production.

The partners in question, played by Matt Daniels and Bryony Cole, were perhaps a little larger than life but within the realms of believability, just falling short of over-exaggerated, and the underlying journey toward self-realisation sat well alongside the semi-serious discussions of feminism and gender dominance that took place during the film production/writing scenes.

All four of the cast worked exceptionally hard and with Newlands and Heverin maintaining continuity with strong characterisation while Daniels and Cole took multiple roles to fill some of the gaps left by a lack of extras. It’s a shame to say it but the staging didn’t lend itself to this as well as it could, and every costume change and character entrance/exit were carried out in full view. Equally, there were several location changes that were indicated well by the cast but would have been assisted by additional props or setting, making the choice of play an admirably ambitious but not entirely smoothly produced one.

That aside, there are some genuine laugh out loud moments in this piece and while there some more serious underlying themes, the overall feeling is one of romp and dark comedy. There are times when the lo-fi production values add a charm and comedy of their own and while a bit rough around the edges, Wet is designed to give you the feel-good factor that will put a smile on your face and brighten your day.

3 Star Review

Review by Damien Russell

Holly and Sophie are frustrated. They’re frustrated by their failing careers as filmmakers, frustrated about how absurdly expensive life is in London, and also frustrated by their sex lives. In an attempt to do something about it they decide to write a feminist porn film, wrestling with their own sexual neurosis along the way.
Starring Tamsin Newlands from In Love And Warcraft (Theatre N16 2016) and Theatre N16 associate artists Matt Daniels and Claire Heverin. Written by playwrights Grace Carroll and Bryony Cole.

TheatreN16
5 Ashley Road, Tottenham, London, N179LJ
https://www.theatren16.co.uk/

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