In Tom Glover’s Wet Bread, Morag Sims gives an incredible performance as the ‘every liberal’ Adele – a fiercely political individual who is anti-fracking, anti-austerity, anti-capitalism, anti-Tory, and anti-anyone who disagrees with her. In this satirical one hour tour-de-force Sims takes us through one year of Adele’s life in which she sets herself the simple goal of changing the world.
The most impressive thing about this show is definitely Sims herself. She shifts between a multitude of characters, displaying a wide range of accents, physicalities and a huge amounts of skill. Sims takes on a huge task and yet her dialogue with herself is continually funny and engaging. It is also brilliantly directed and is one of the few pieces that works perfectly as a one-woman show. Sims high-energy performance and the ridiculous amount of work she takes on as an actress really reflects the ridiculous amount of work Adele takes on as herself, and the way in which Adele really attaches her own self-importance and self-worth to her campaigning. Watching someone have conversations with themselves with so much energy, means the audience almost becomes exhausted alongside Adele at times, really showing Adele’s struggle of changing people’s minds when, quite literally, no one is listening to you.
In message, the show is incredibly topical. It taps in to a line of thought after the 2015 General Election which was probably fairly common amongst clientele of the King’s Head in Islington, Jeremy Corbyn’s own constituency – “Everyone I know voted Labour, so how did we lose?” The show itself is refreshingly challenging and provocative when it comes to generally accepted liberal views, as Adele is chastised by family and friends who describe her campaigning as ‘a lot of noise’. Adele meanwhile, is a cliché of a campaigner, fighting for everything and anything, calling her neighbour a fascist, giving her niece a goat for her birthday, and just generally interfering in other people’s lives in any way that she can, sometimes at the expense of those close to her.
Especially towards the end, it does start to feel perhaps a little too moralistic. Adele’s little ‘revelations’ that lead her to change her ways seem a little heavy handed at times, as she comes face to face with a charity campaigner who seems to too clearly represent herself. This can also seem confusing as the play is ultimately a satire, and Adele’s behaviour seems cliché and sometimes even entirely unrealistic, meaning that it’s hard to know how seriously to take her realisations and to what extent the audience or anyone is expected to be able to apply them to their own lives.
Wet Bread played the King’s Head Theatre until July 14.