Thirsty: Remember those drunken nights?
Unconventional, hysterical, yet oddly poignant, Thirsty has it all. Produced by The Paper Birds, this hilarious play is the result of a blog, questionnaire and drunken hotline. It promised to deliver an answer to the question: “Why as a nation are we so thirsty?”
And deliver, it did.
It began rather explosively with the actors singing and dancing to Beyoncé, displaying every single one of those desperately hilarious stereotypically drunken behaviors, the play started with a bang and only got better. With a small cast of two actresses, Jemma McDonnell and Kylie Walsh and the musical accompanist Shane Durrant, the show achieved a personal quality.
Framed with an unusual set, involving three bathroom stalls and many, many (many) glasses of alcohol and an interactive quality emphasized by the use of a digital camera – with which the audience and actors alike took pictures throughout the show – the performance grabbed the audience’s attention and refused to let go.
Delivering lines composed from verbatim text and real-life confessions, the actors did not merely act, they told a story. A story of their own personal experiences, a story of the experiences of those who replied to the surveys and hotlines and a story of the sobering consequences of going a bit too far. The intensely personal, often hilarious, confessions from ages ranging from older couples to university students, twenty-something to teenagers are so easily relatable that the spectators could almost think they had made the confession themselves.
The drunken antics, horrific photos and hilarious phone calls are all set perfectly to music, as Durrant sits quietly in the third stall of the bathroom set tinkering with his piano and laptop, only occasionally interjecting comments of his own.
Balancing the humor with the serious subject of the consequences of overindulgence, Thirsty tugs on the emotions. Easy to relate to, the show balances come-uppance with enough humour that the more sobering message does not become overwhelming.
Thirsty set out to answer the question of why drinking is such an important part of our culture. Not only did it accomplish that, but also it provided a night of hilarity, laughter and thought-provoking performances. It most certainly deserves a glass raised in recognition of its resounding success.
Thirsty near you:
3rd Feb The Brewhouse, Taunton | 01823 283244
4th Feb Bath Theatre Royal | 01225 448844
6th Feb Hunt Theatre, Felstead | 01371 822620
7th Feb Winchester Theatre Royal | 01962 840 440
9th Feb MAC, Birmingham | 0121 446 3232
10th Feb Lakeside Arts Centre, Nottingham | 0115 846 7777
21st Feb The Garage, Norfolk | 01603 283382
22nd – 25th Feb New Wimbledon Theatre, London | 0844 871 7646
27th Feb Stage@Leeds | 0113 343 8730
28th Feb Harrogate Theatre | 01423 502 116
29th Feb Ashcroft Arts Centre, Kent | 01329 223100
1st March Riverhead Theatre, Louth | 01507 600350
3rd March Trestle Theatre, St Albans | 01727 850950
12th March Richard Whitely Theatre, Giggleswick | 01729 893180
13th March Live Theatre, Newcastle | 0191 232 1232
14th March Guildhall Arts Centre, Grantham | 01476 406158
15th March Lincoln Drill Hall | 01522 873894
16th March South Holland Centre, Spalding | 01775 764777
17th March Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond | 01748 825252
20th – 21st March The Carriageworks, Leeds | 0113 224 3801
22nd – 24th March Hull Truck Theatre | 01482 323 638
26th March The Junction, Cambridge | 01223 511 511
28th March Unity Theatre, Liverpool | 0844 873 2888
29th March The Civic Barnsley | 01226 327 000
2nd April Stephen Joseph Theatre | 01723 370 541