“Some jobs require getting your hands a little dirty… ”
Located underneath Waterloo Station and preceded by a tunnel full of flamboyant and colourful graffiti, the Vaults, in contrast eery and grey, is the perfect venue for this dark comedy about three women involved in atypical hazardous waste removal.
Francine and Marla, employees of a hazardous waste removal company, are on the hunt for a new apprentice. Belinda, “Barney”overqulified for the post, but having just escaped a life of misfortune applies for the post and walks through the door, ready for her interview. The post and the company, the Sarcastic Waste Disposal Companyare are not what the polished Francine and Marla, claims them to be. While getting acquainted with these three larger-than-life characters, we instantly feel a sense of unease and also understand that the position isn’t quite what it seems and the advert may have missed a few pertinent details about the nasty side of an already filthy job.
All actors are great in their role – Adeline Waby as Francine in her overtly aggressive testing of her interviewee and Helena Antoniou as the more intellectual and ethical university graduate “Barney” Belinda -, but it is Madison Clare as the damaged and clueless, yet sensitive, Marla, which steals the show. The writing shows great depth in the description of its characters, as in a short time, we understand their personal histories of misfortune and what has led them to this very sticky situation.
While the play deals with the secrets and mysteries of the underground crime scene in an intriguing and witty way, it also raises interesting questions about what it means to take social responsibility, remain truthful to oneself and loyal to one’s friends when we are a part of a bigger system run by mysterious bosses one never sees nor encounters.