23rd Sept 2014
Set as the title suggests, in a hostel for alcoholics, Wet House reveals the stories of six characters - three residents and three "care workers". I was expecting a play that would make me think, and possibly make me laugh a bit and probably make me uncomfortable about it. What I wasn't expecting was a play that would make me laugh a lot, and it certainly made me uncomfortable about it! It is harsh and real and hits you in the gut like an iron fist. It is full of the dark humour that we seem to do so well up in the north. It doesn't pull any of those punches - you laugh out loud one moment and the next you're thinking 'Shit! That's really not funny.'
This play questions asks big questions. It has huge themes of justice, loyalty, betrayal, love, idealism, and tackles issues of social injustice, the care system, alcoholism, paedophilia, prostitution. The characters are at once engaging and hideous. Each one is a mixture of conflicting characteristics drawing out sympathy from the audience and then stamping on it with a jackbooted snippet of truth from their past, or perhaps worse, their present.
Wet House is the debut play by Paddy Campbell. Inspired by his experiences while working in such an establishment it has the clear ring of authenticity, this, combined with an outstanding cast, ensures that the characters never become two dimensional stereotypes. You will love them and hate them in equal measure, and you will come away feeling that there, but for the grace of God...
Wet house plays at the Live Theatre until Sat 11th October then moves on to the Hull Theatre on the 14th, and Soho Theatre London on the 22nd October until the 16th November.
You will leave the theatre knowing you have seen something important.