The Wet House (Newcastle upon Tyne)
The Wet House is Paddy Campbells' first full-length play and quite frankly he leaves more established play writers standing. I personally can't wait for further plays by this exciting new author.
It certainly helps that Campbell used to work in a Wet House, which is a homeless hostel for alcoholics, which also accepts drug addicts, the mentally ill, sex offenders and young care leavers. All of which is captured in the play.
The cast of six bring this environment to life as new starter Andy (Riley Jones) joins the care team, learning the tricks of the trade from Mike (Chris Connel) while Helen (Jackie Lye) tries to keep the place running on an even keel, even though she is having an affair with Mike. Even the strong language does not seem out of place.
At times laugh out loud funny, often thought provoking and ultimately shocking, Director Max Roberts brings the play to life. Although every cast member is excellent, Chris Connel as the ex military care worker Mike, who believes he can treat anyone the way he wants to and Joe Caffrey as Dinger, are outstanding. However, it is Caffrey you can never take your eyes off when he is on stage, as the alcoholic Dinger. You sit transfixed by his every movement from the twitching feet and trembling hands to the rendition of Downtown, first class stuff.
This is a must see show from a new writer and another great production from Live Theatre. The stand ovation said it all.