C Nova Venue, Edinburgh

I’ve been a fan of playwright Simon Stephens ever since I saw Punk Rock at the Ed Fest a few years back. Wastwater is an early work, originally performed at the Royal Court in 2011. This new production is ingeniously staged in a promenade style ranging between two main rooms linked by a middle one where uniformed extras guide you along designated pathways, into the next piece of action. Wastwater is essentially three short plays, linked only by brief mentions of characters from the previous section. Although an amateur production, the standards of acting in each part are uniformly excellent and the simple but effective staging manages to involve the audience to such a degree that they feel as though they are part of the action. The overall theme is one of transience – nearly every character is on his or her way to somewhere else. One minor niggle – some of the actors are clearly too young for the roles they are playing, but in a production as accomplished as this, that’s easy to live with.

4.6 stars

Philip Caveney


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