In the past couple years, the anger at the present government and its policies has reached unprecedented levels – an echo of the days of Thatcher in her ‘prime’. The advent of social media has given a voice to many and now more than ever, the powers-that-be feel the criticism keenly of their every action. Inspired by these events, Wet Bread – which is written by Tom Glover and directed by Tom Latter – looks at one individual’s struggle to be heard amongst the ‘noise’, a biting satire on left-wing activism in a right-wing world.
Starring Morag Sims as Adele, this one-woman show is a bittersweet look at making a difference and finding common ground with one’s fellow ‘man’ (or woman). As an ardent Labour supporter and perennial attender of protest marches, making a stand against government policies is second nature to her. However, it does take up most of her time and her sister is less than enamoured with her and time being spent this way – especially as their mother is ‘fighting’ cancer. One of Adele’s friend’s challenges her to truly make a difference in the world over the next 12 months – or give protesting up for good and make time for relationships…
Politics or rather the diversity of principles takes the spotlight as Adele reappraises not only the effectiveness of her own actions, but the more fluid natutre of what is right and wrong. As a potential boyfriend gently points out to her, what’s more destructive to the planet – eating meat or the carbon footprint created from flying avocados and other non-indigenous fruit to Europe?
Taking a leaf from Katie Carr in Nick Hornby’s How To Be Good, Adele invites a homeless addict to live with her. But the man in question is not readily going to change his ‘lifestyle’ for her and Adele is forced to consider the real reasons for her ‘altruistic’ actions and the ‘imprint’ she leaves behind in the people that know her. As Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Wet Bread is very funny at times, but it also acknowledges some uncomfortable truths about a life devoted wholly to ‘the greater good’ – that not only one’s own happiness is put on the back burner, but also the well-being of those supposedly close to us.
© Michael Davis 2017
Wet Bread ran at King’s Head Theatre on 10th, 11th and 13th July as part of Festival 47