I spent most of Christmas hoping that I would become a man overnight. Not for the reasons you might expect, such as getting into politics or pissing whenever you fancy, but, because I want to have sex with Ben Whishaw. And sadly he aint into chicks. To be honest, even if I was a bloke, my chances would be minimal. I would NOT be a hunky one, and I’d be called Hank (thanks a bunch Mum and Dad)! Another problem – Ben is rather irritatingly in love with his husband (Yes – my best friend and I googled the f*ck out of him during the interval).
In hindsight, I should’ve spent my time wishing for pretty much anything else. Justice in Syria, an end to poverty, for Bono to do one… But let’s face it. I’m selfish and he’s sickeningly hot.
Anyhow – enough sleazing and back to culture. Jez Butterworth created the phenomenon that is Jerusalem. And as far as I’m concerned, after doing that, he can pretty much do what he likes and I’ll drool. So, the second I heard about his first play Mojo (premiered at the Royal Court years ago, and back with spectacular vengeance at the Harold Pinter Theatre), I was desperate to see it.
Whereas Jerusalem is of a rural setting, Mojo is urban and set in a tacky Soho nightclub in 1958. Comprised of an all male cast, the effect this has on your experience as spectator is both subtle and staggering. You don’t quite notice the ferocious energy of the testosterone pumping around the stage, until you’ve left and you’re suddenly pregnant with it.
What are all these lads up to? Well they’re all riddled with issues, such as psychosis and drug & alcohol addiction, sidelined from society and work for The Atlantic Club, which they’ve come to call home. However, things turn sour when their boss Ezra (whose paedophilic antics are referred to on a couple of occasions) has refused to sell the club’s treasure Baby to local gangster Sam Ross. As a result, Ezra’s body is chopped up and left in the bins outside the club. It is announced that Sam is going to take over. The characters are forced to lock themselves in, to keep ownership and themselves safe.
The cast is unbelievable: Rupert Grint (Harry Potter’s ginger friend) plays Sweets, Daniel Mays is Potts , the beautiful Ben Whishaw is Baby and Colin Morgan is Skinny. There was, however, one flaw in this almost perfect cast – Brendan Coyle (Yes- bloody Bates from Downton Abbey). He just didn’t seem to know how to act, and his reaction to the rest of the sensational acting was so delayed, I actually questioned whether he’d forgotten his lines. I even caught him shuffling about while the curtain was going down, when he was meant to be still! I mean really…
Perhaps I’m missing a cool new acting skill that’s on the street? A sort of ‘Yeah, I can’t act…. or can I?’ chic. But, something is not right when I’m in the West End and for a moment teleported back to GCSE drama class. I’m just saying that theatre might not be for him. Perhaps he desperately needs that ‘CUT’
Right – off that rantgent (a ranting tangent – spread it) and back to the play. Things go quite Lord of the Flies as the blokes get hungrier and discover certain things about each other and violence ensues…
I won’t give away a morsel more (morsel rhymes a bit with torso – and boy does Whishaw have a nice one)
The writing, like Jerusalem, is just mind blowing. In both plays, innocence is conveyed in a world of damage through an ethereal child. You can’t quite make out what they represent or if they even exist. Phaedra, appears in fairy wings in Jerusalem, whereas Mojo’s Silver Johnny has an angelic face and golden hair. Both of the plays end with these innocent characters walking off into the distance with the protagonist. So what prevails – debauchery or innocence?
Mojo left me flabbergasted. There is NOTHING better than being physically, mentally and spiritually turned on!