'Wastwater' and '|', Volume 5
"You make one decision. It stays with you. It's like the consequences of it get into your bones."
Set on the edges of Heathrow airport, Wastwater is an elliptical triptych - a snapshot of three different couples who make a choice that will define the fallout of their future.
Harry is on the point of leaving England and Frieda knows she will never see him again. Lisa and Mark are on the point of a sexual betrayal that takes them into a place darker than they ever thought possible. Sian has a terrifying deal for Jonathan and she isn't going to take no for an answer.
A reflective piece by a playwright at the height of his powers and career, Wastwater mimics the flexible and innovative form of Stephens's hit play Pornography with three overlapping, but detachable, parts which can be split and played in differing orders. The play contains Stephens's trademark combination of sensitive character depiction and tough confrontation with political choices. Wastwater is a meditative morality tale and a portrayal of modern-day relationships, formed and deformed by fatal decisions, inevitable consequences and fragile connections.
This volume also contains the monologue T5, which portrays a road trip below the heart of London and follows a darkly magical flight out of the edges of the 21st century.
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