This is Matty and He is Fucked is part of Matchstick Theatre’s New Writing Nights. Its sold out one off performance at The Winemaker’s Club in Farringdon shows that new work has a lot of support in the industry. However, this show seems to invite a very niche audience and until the show began I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I felt out of place.
The synopsis reads: “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.”
The story follows Lucas, a privileged teenager from Hampstead (played in rotation by each member of the cast) who is just a bit bored with his well educated, middle class upbringing. In an attempt to feel ‘edgy’ or ‘cool’ he and his friends go out drinking and to clubs, despite being underage. Lucas meets Matty, a drug dealer in his mid twenties who “probably won’t make it to 30, but you know he’ll enjoy every last second.” It’s pointed out that Matty comes from a working class background.
Essentially this show is the stream of consciousness of a bored teenager who joins the illegal rave scene.
As you head to your seat, there is a small plastic bag with a single pill inside and a canister that supposedly contains laughing gas. As if that isn’t enough, the venue used to be part of the rave scene approximately twenty years ago. There’s also a DJ playing bass music but he’s wearing a gorilla mask (Do DJs at raves wear gorilla masks?). One thing is for sure, by the time the lights go down the audience are part of the story.
Unfortunately the excitement ends there. The stream of consciousness becomes dull quite quickly and the constant use of the F word becomes exhausting. Lucas seems like a whiny kid with an immense sense of entitlement. The friendship between Lucas and Matty doesn’t make any sense – or perhaps that’s just to someone who has never encountered that world.
The actors seem to have a lot to give but this script doesn’t quite match up to their evident talent. They are a very skilled group of actors and they effortlessly transition as each one takes their turn to play Lucas.
Overall, it was rather difficult to engage with the story at all or connect to any of the characters. Maybe it’s one of those, “you had to be there” moments.
This is Matty and He is Fucked played the winemaker’s club on 15 October 2016. For more information see Matchstick Theatre’s website.