The Life of Stuff won Best New Play on its debut at the Donmar Warehouse in 1993. It has been revived recently by director Paul Robinson in Battersea’s Theatre503.
In the case of The Life of Stuff, this tricky task was accomplished incredibly well as once the stage first lit up we were immediately transported back to a 90’s Edinburgh nightclub in which leopard print surroundings, tacky strobe lighting, glitter and ghetto blasters reigned supreme.
As the play continues we get to know the characters and understand why they have ended up in such a hopeless situation. We begin to almost feel sorry for them as we see that their relationships are heavily punctuated by deceit and insecurity.
The play takes many twists and turns, most of which are backed by clubbing tunes which help to lighten the mood as the main body of the story is a quite dark and tragic one.
The play does offer some intelligent humour which can be enjoyed on various levels. However this whirlwind of hard drugs and even harder characters is not for the faint hearted as nudity, live snakes, drug and alcohol abuse, violence and vomiting are characters in themselves. Having said that, its setting leaves it no choice but to show that era for what it was and the near to flawless performances from each actor made this play unforgettable for a variety of reasons- most of which were positive.