Collaboration between two emerging companies has brought to London a new play in an interesting venue. This is Matty and He is Fucked is written by Serafina Cusack the artistic director of Appetite Theatre. Teaming with Matchstick Theatre, the play is staged at The Winemakers Club that incidentally includes a past of holding raves.
You have spent so much time around kids with no futures that you realise you don’t have one either. You realise life is a ferris wheel not a roller coaster and you are never fucking getting off unless you can jump from the top.
Matty (Tom Lincoln) is a drug dealer and working class, perceived as edgy and somewhat gangster-like. Middle class stereotypes fit the rest of the company, those attached to ones indulging in London’s drug taking scene. Lucas (Joseph Phelps), the narrator, opens the play, and one by one different cast members take over. Drugs are snorted, concrete walls are jumped off, cars are damaged, and violence is all around. Mundane life drives some back to the ‘trendy’ lifestyle but the message is clear: Matty is a drug dealer; in reality they’re all fucked.
Situated on Farringdon Street, you will find the venue in the vaults of the Holborn viaduct. Once inside, the exposed brick work leads to a shop and bar, in which a variety of wines are available to taste and purchase. The secret here, behind the shop floor, is a space in which music and theatre is staged. It’s an eerie venue lit with candles and lighting; a perfect fit for This is Matty and He is Fucked.
Jess Bernberg’s talent is apparent with her ensuring all actors and the action takes place under well-lit areas, something I imagine is difficult to achieve in a venue not designed for theatrical performances. Highlight of the production is Emma Naomi’s movement direction. She precisely portrays the body on drugs whilst dancing. Not something easily achieved.
The rehearsal process behind this vigorous one night show is evident. Cusack’s fast paced show is given an exceptional deliverance by the whole cast. Scene by scene individual actors narrate the story, although at times this is distracting. Jesse Michael Angelo despite his limited directing credits has taken upon himself an in-depth play and Lucas’s constant state of disorientation multiplies the effects of his ambition.
With the night tube and vast numbers of clubs and music venues being shut down many have nowhere to go – Cusack’s writing raises the impact and effect of the illegal rave scene. I expect to see her name and work in the near future. She is yet to reach twenty, yet the stream of consciousness in which she writes outshines many of her peers.
Collectively both companies, Appetite and Matchbox, have proven that the future of the Arts despite the threat, is flourishing.