BWW Review: F**K FREUD, The Water Rats
From having a mundane job to stay on top of bills to having to deal with inconsiderate agents who show no respect whatsoever, starting a career in the entertainment industry isn't for the easily impressionable. Lucio Veronesi amps up the struggle and tells the semi-autobiographical story of a young Italian expat in London who's striving to break into the business.
His character Leone juggles a frustrating customer service job, complicated relationships, and being actively pigeonholed as an actor in F**k Freud, a punchy dark satire that presents the universal strife of the unemployed creative with steady humour. At the same time, he tackles the alienation of living in a foreign country attempting to retain his identity while having to pursue roles of the likes of a Super Mario heavily involved in the mafia.
Veronesi's script is sharp in its irony, offering plenty of spotless sit-com moments that drive the main storyline seamlessly. Directed by Griffin Mosson, the play is snappy with quick scene changes and precise timing from the cast. They click into the comedic beats and carry out Veronesi's caustic outlook, with Robbie Fletcher-Hill standing out particularly with an energetically characterised handful of roles.
A sense of melancholia permeates the piece, with Leone's desperately trying to deal with the implications of his national integrity in his adopted city. The stress and anxiety given by the uncertainty of a future that keeps being denied to him pile up with detrimental effects on his mental health and personal relationships, highlighting the importance of true friendship and a solid support network.
It's a strong debut for both playwright and director, who display all the potential to become a stable theatre-making duo.