Nominated for OffWestEnd Award

Best supporting actor:

Max Saunders Singer

MOJO

 

by Jez Butterworth

The White Bear Theatre

September 2014

 

 

Synopsis: 

Savagely funny but equally poignant, Mojo takes us back to a Soho club in the Rock and Roll 50’s where a bunch of gangster wanna-be’s must confront reality with the untimely cutting-in-half of their employer- Ezra. As the drugs and paranoia take hold; the bins with the body brought in and the toffee apples purchased Ezra’s Atlantic becomes a castle under siege and a pressure cooker of deceit, power grabbing and fear. Butterworth uses this ‘wonderful collision’ of rock and roll and desperate, damaged characters to present a story which is darkly comic but contained within his visceral dialogue is an unflinching commentary on the nature of a patriarchal society and the desperate lengths that many go to disguise their pain and feelings - this swaggering machismo which masks the fear and doubt beneath.

Cast and Creatives: 

 

Baby - Luke Trebilcock. Potts - Max Saunders Singer.  

Skinny - Max Warrick.  Sweets - Jack Heath. Mickey - Oscar Blend.  

Silver Johnny - Oliver Hall.

 

Set Design - Jo Dias

Costume Design - Jane Rankine

Music Design - Chris Roe

Operator / Stage Manger - Nathalie Gunzle

REVIEWS

 

***** 5 Stars

WhatsOnStage

To put it quite simply; Mojo is a knockout of a show. At home in the almost disturbingly intimate White Bear Theatre, director Sebastien Blanc's interpretation of Jez Butterworth's hit show is exactly that – a tremendous hit that will give you an even bigger high. And good luck coming down from this one on the tube home.

 

***** 5 Stars

GrumpayGayCritic

An intense tinder-box production that brings Jez Butterworth’s phenomenal first play into quarters so close that the tension is unbearable. 

Shows like this are the reason I’ll always love the fringe... in the hands of Blanc and his company, stuffing it into the intimate space of the White Bear Theatre, it turns into an unbearably tense and nerve-shredding thriller of epic proportions. I don’t want to see another toffee apple for a long time!

 

***** 5 Stars

A Younger Theatre

The detail and thought that has gone into this production mean that it does full justice to Butterworth’s snarling script, acknowledging its moments of tenderness and sharpening its edge of menace. The result is an invigorating show with the rock and roll power of Little Richard’s “awopbopaloobop-alopbamboom”.

 

***** 5 Stars

The New Current

Mojo is not an easy play to produce and certainly not one that can be taken lightly. The playwrights style is unique, thoughtful, brave and challenging which requires the audience to listen carefully as important themes and clues are provided in-between conversations. 

 

Blanc has created a more honest and authentic Mojo that has at its heart six troubled men who find everything they’ve worked for wiped out by greed, jealousy and fear. His use of space and music brilliantly gives the audience a genuine feel of time and place.

 

This company raise the bar for Off West End Theatre in such a remarkable way and to say one is left speechless after this production would be an understatement.

 

***** 5 Stars

View From The Gods

You may think the cut and thrust of gangland crime would be the focal point, but that actually plays second fiddle to a study of our lead - Baby who seems written for Luke Trebilcock; he really owns it. The other actors do a sterling job in supporting him, in particularly the jumpiness of pill-popping Potts and Sweets, a nice but dim double act by Singer and Heath, but it's Trebilcock's performance which makes this Mojo so enthralling. Butterworth's defiantly disgusting script calls for it to be bubbling in the background which Blanc duly acknowledges. Still, there's enough twists and turns to keep us on tenterhooks and our director keeps the action flowing very naturally.

Verdict

While Mojo's overtly masculine (probably no surprise given the cast and subject matter) there are a few tender moments too, making for a thoroughly magnetic piece. This is one Baby you don't put in a corner.