It’s not every day that you get invited to see a rock documentary. In fact, you’d be forgiven for never having heard the term ever before. But this is most-fitting way of describing Wasted.
The play gives an access-all-areas account of the struggles, heartbreaks and triumphs of the three Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and their brother Branwell. You should go expecting ‘all the feels’.
We start off in a sparse studio space in front of a house band and not much else. As soon as the play begins you soon realise there a lighting rig kitted out like something from Kanye West’s Glastonbury appearance. In fact the lighting really is the fifth member of the cast, at it really is impressive. In such a minimal set design, the use of different spot lights and washes really helps break up the narrative. As does the music. There are some real ear-worms that you’ll be singing for days. Plus, there is something for everyone, rock, pop, funk, opera, rap and even a beat-boxing-dog impression!
Yet, amidst all of this there’s an incredibly compelling untold story about the Bronte’s struggles. And, no, it’s not just about writing. The themes are incredibly universal – love, loss, aspirations, feminism and some really interesting insights into the imposter syndrome. This provides a lot of the comedy, with knowing audiences laughing at the jibes about London’s rudeness and a particularly well-recieved song about there being nobody left to marry.
It is hard not to be impressed by all of this. It is a very impressive play. And it’s informative too. The sort of trip to the theatre that leaves you talking about it long after you’ve gone home. So, with a limited run left, it is well worth checking out as soon as possible.