Grudge match: The Wasp @JSTheatre

Just how long can you hold a grudge? Well it probably depends on what exactly went down at school. Morgan Lloyd Malcolm's The Wasp is back in the West End. It last appeared in 2015 at Hampstead Theatre and then transfered to Trafalgar Studios.

Two years on, it's at the Jermyn Street Theatre and just as chilling and just as spooky. Although perhaps having seen it all before, you see more of the mechanics behind the story that evolves over cups of tea. 

The story is about Carla and Heather. They were once schoolmates but drifted apart due to their different backgrounds. And one or two horrible incidents. Heather has become a successful businesswoman. She drinks lattes and has nice clothes. Carla is probably just about managing - pregnant and in a track suit - and prefers builders tea. The scene is set for what you think will be a class struggle and then Heather asks Carla if she would help her kill her husband.

To give anything further away would spoil the fun. But as the piece unfolds you find yourself shifting your sympathies. This time around the actors bring a darker interpretation to the two roles. This heightens the fear factor, even if it is hard to empathise with either of them.

Lisa Gorgin as Carla strikes you as the sort of character you wouldn't want to encounter in the school toilets. Selina Giles as Heather is icy cold. This sets the scene for the shocks to come. 

Director Anna Simpson maintains the tension even if things become a little too obvious in the second half.  It feels as if could make the transition from stage to screen. Big or small. Which might help cut down some of the superfluous dialogue. 

But in the meantime it's at Jermyn Street Theatre until 12 August.


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