RAZ by Jim Cartwright (4 stars)

This article is from 2015

RAZ by Jim Cartwright

Cartwright monologue gets a blistering rendition by his son James

Probably still best known for the celebrated play and film of Little Voice, writer Jim Cartwright is a noted wordsmith who brings considerable linguistic dexterity to this simple but effective dissection of the mind of a male clubber. A pallet-lifter by day, Shane likes to style himself as a millionaire come Friday night, when he launches himself into his local pubs and clubs for an orgy of drink, drugs and womanising. Shane’s opening appearance, clad only in pants emblazoned with the Superman logo, strutting his washboard abs in a tanning salon, sets the tone; brash, boastful, reeking of small-town machismo.

As he dresses in his best shirt, Shane phones around his friends, coordinating a night on the tiles with military precision. But as the drinks are washed down with all manner of narcotics, and Cartwright revels in the sordid details, Shane begins to realise that there’s something missing from his hedonistic lifestyle.

Performing this one-man show as Shane, James Cartwright makes sure that his machine-gun delivery of his father’s carefully chosen words don’t let Raz down; he does them proud, slipping in and out of other characters – including a Welsh taxi driver – with ease, but never losing his grip on Shane’s deliberately errant character. The result is a blistering 50-minute monologue that sets the bar high in terms of performance, with Cartwright bringing the intensity of Tom Hardy to his role; clubs may be closing all over the country, but a theatre production as visceral as RAZ bottles the spirit of the hardcore clubber, only to unceremoniously pour it into the gutter.

Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 24), 4pm, £12.50–£13.50 (£11.50–£12.50).

RAZ by Jim Cartwright

  • 4 stars

Assembly Festival and Riverside Studios 'Friday night, first thing, the tanning shop, a good nine-minute blaster!' Shane is another 30-year-old weekend millionaire, still living at home with his parents. Tonight, he’s hitting the town. On Monday, he’ll start again. A bitingly comic new play for a boozed-up Britain, by…