Shopping and F***ing
First Edinburgh Revival of the play by
The British Theatre Guide, 2002
Mark Ravenhill's twisted shocker returns to the Fringe. Three bisexuals, a 14-year-old rent boy and a businessman show Generation X the state we're in. Drugs, S&M, underage gay sex, bisexuality, open relationships are all graphically put before our eyes as the point is sledgehammered home. A rock solid script deserves strong performances and all five leads distinguish themselves here.
Simon Ramsey as the rent boy Gary gives us a very real all too convincing portrayal of an abused child. Indeed, abuse is all this kid knows, yet Ramsey plays the part with massive strength and conviction – Gary is more than just a victim. Dominic Charles-Rouse as Mark, the recovering junkie searching for an identity, reflects the duplicity and mental anguish of a compulsive personally trying not to be. David Westerby, shines as Robbie the campish selfish bisexual boy (and the worst 'e' dealer in the club). Sally Humphrys gives her complex character, Lulu, the emotional depth to ensure that we stick with her and her lonely desperation. And Kevin Stone as Brian terrifies everybody with his moody dangerous violent capitalist rants and his love of Disney's Lion King. In short this production of Shopping and F***ing is a triumph. Not to be missed.
The genius of Mark Ravenhill's writing... The story is shocking and stark but avoids gratuity with excellent acting that relieves the brutality through honest performances. The cast make the play by turns funny and terrifying. It would take a very cold heart not to be touched by this magnificent work.
Benet Catty has been making a name for himself as a very interesting young director at the Fringe for some years now. His trademarks are pacy productions that contain great wit... Catty and his young cast have done a very good job... Catty's production is very impressive with fine performances from all five cast members, Simon Ramsey as Gary and Sally Humphreys as Lulu in the vanguard.
British Theatre Guide ****
Each of the actors show sparks of brilliance... frenetically paced... With the dark music and the brisk, deliberate, angry scene changes the tension is kept impressively high throughout.
Three Weeks ***
A sensational play is given an airing by this talented company... the cast extract every ounce of the very black comedy... this pacy drama... A simple set is well lit, scene changes indicated by musical segues and choreographed props relocation by the cast enhance the spectacle... a visit to this production is well worth trying.
All five leads distinguish themselves... Simon Ramsey - massive strength and conviction... David Westerby shines as Robbie... This production of Shopping and Fucking is a triumph. Not to be missed.