Trashed, VAULT Festival

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by guest critic Amy Toledano

Trashed is a high energy, thrilling and heartbreaking show that has the audience hooked from beginning to end. David William Byran plays Keith – a rubbish collector from a working class community in the UK. Throughout, Keith is engaging with the audience, asking questions and offering some of his beer, which he drinks continuously throughout the piece.

Sascha Moore, the writer of this thrilling play, has created a world for us that is easy to imagine – it is easy to forget we aren’t down at the pub with Keith ourselves. Keith talks to us as if we are a bunch of travellers, and he has stumbled upon us and decided to tell us his story (if not on purpose, then as a means of subconscious therapy for him).

Although Keith comes off as a tough and rugged, as the story progresses we find out that he is in a great deal of pain. Through brilliant staging and lighting devices we soon find out that Keith is a man who has been damaged, and drinks as a way to numb himself and hide from the world that is breaking him.

Keith’s story, although starting light and full of banter, soon turns dark. We are plunged into a heartbreaking tale of grief and the ways in which people are forced to deal with it. Feeling lonely and craving connection from his wife Deb after a family tragedy, Keith is trying to make things right. We soon discover though that things have not gone to plan.

The show is an example of storytelling in its finest form. Honest, gut wrenching and at times hilarious, Trashed hits right where it hurts and stay there for days.

Trashed runs through 28 January.

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