Theatre Review: Bender and Laundry

A double-bill of plays BENDER and LAUNDRY are performed in a unused railway arch in Waterloo, exploring addiction and obsessive compulsive behaviour.

FOUR plays by three playwrights make up the first ever repertory season at the Waterloo East Theatre, an atmospheric venue that cropped up in an unused space under a railway arch in Waterloo in September last year.

This double-bill of plays began with Bender, a 70-minute work by Anna Jordan about a riotous night out for three people united by addiction – to drink, concaine and anything going.

Billed as the “most experimental social-networking play ever”, and apparently constructed out of anecdotes posted on Facebook, it is a compelling tale of a trio on the margins of society, who know they are going nowhere – and each resort to their chosen vices to cope.

It convincingly conjures up the magnetic pull of addiction, the drive to escape everything with a binge of epic proportions – and shows the dark places it can lead. Though the territory is perhaps nothing new, it is explored through a sharp script, infused with humour and telling insight and brought to life by three excellent performances.

Laundry, a one-woman play written and performed by Jo Stokes, offered a window into a painful world of obsessive-compulsive behaviour. It was less effective, but only 20 minutes long.

* Showing at Waterloo East Theatre in Brad Street, SE1, until