WET FEET, 3 Stars

Union Theatre
18th – 29th June 2024

“Wet Feet tells the story of an encounter between two men in a gay sauna that lasts longer than your typical steamy dalliance.

Nathan is an out and proud gay man, while Franko lives his life in the long shadow of Section 28. Throughout this poignant comedy the towel-clad pair get to know each other a little better and a heart-warming connection is formed. Two lives collide in the most unlikely of places. Sparking a journey towards liberation and authentic connection.

This show contains themes of a sexual nature but no nudity.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 3 Stars

We open on Nathan, confidently in his private cabin enjoying the white towelling robe that comes with this increased entry fee. Nathan wanders outside to have a cigarette. Franko wanders along the corridors and his curiosity brings him into the room. I guess Franko is lucky that Nathan is so trusting in these anonymous surroundings that he leaves the cabin door unlocked. When Nathan returns to the room he walks through the side of the room later described as “a wall with a mirror” rather than using the cabin door. The director is also the dramaturg but I was questioning some of the staging choices from early on.

The room itself is rather lovely. A single cabin bed with space underneath and LED strip light. White wall with integral door, and a patterned floor of tiles. This very polished set design goes a long way to enhance the production.

The script is very funny with chuckles coming fast and furious. Nathan is very cute and patient with the shy Franko, who is just adorable. I’m not sure I quite buy into Franko having a drag queen persona outside of the sauna –  “Donna Kebab” – most drag queens I’ve come across are more ballsy than builders, but it did gain another laugh from the audience.

The lighting was very noisy as the rig, left over from “Frank’s Closet”, was a whole bunch of moving lights. So with only a simple lighting plan needed for inside a sauna cabin room most of the lights are just pointing down, lamps burning, powered up, fans running, but not used. That also made for shadowy faces which could have been better balanced by some front light – but this wasn’t used. The final scene played outside the sauna, and therefore outside the box set, was staged either side of the set with faces in the dark although they do eventually move to the front of the set where some light caught their faces. Unfortunately the sauna cabin room’s LED lighting stayed on and was very intrusive in the outdoor scene.

The soundscape was mainly musical compositions that under-scored some of the dialogue or covered the passage of time between the scenes. I don’t think there were any atmospheric sound effects from the bowels of the sauna so far as I could tell. WET FEET deserves tighter technical and more detailed direction.

The story was very sweet and the 70 minutes flew by. Both boys very solid in their characters, providing an enjoyable evening in their towelling-robed company.

Photo credit: Matthew Coulton

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Tickets link: Click here



Matthew Edgar

Michael Neri


Michel Neri

Dominic Rouse

Movement & Intimacy Director
Rose Ryan

Reuben Speed

Lighting Designer
Massimo Neri

Alistair Lindsay for Unusual Theatre