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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

RAZ by Jim Cartwright

Jim Cartwright

Genre: Drama, New Writing

Venue: Assembly


Low Down

Shane enjoys his nights out with his mates – yet at 30 he still lives with his parents. This entertaining play follows Shane as he gets ready and goes out on a typical late night on a Friday.


Shane loves partying, flash everything and goes out most nights a week. However, at 30 years old he still lives with his parents. He’s getting ready for one of his evenings out, first stop is the tanning shop for a quick tan top up, he has his priorities right. James Cartwright plays Shane in Jim Cartwright’s new play RAZ, directed by Anthony Banks. This is quite a production team, for award winning actor James Cartwright has appeared in many professional plays, Jim Cartwright is an Olivier Award winner and Banks is former Associate Director at the National Theatre.

The one hour play happens in multiple locations – a tanning salon and several pubs and clubs. With no stage set, the skillful lighting design and music variety provide all we need to evoke the different locations effectively. Shane’s character is shown perfectly by his contrasting way of contacting his mates and then the women friends, to meet up with during the evening. He’s clearly expecting a good time out and makes sure he’s ready for anything, well, everything! His well-practiced preparation ritual is fascinating, and Shane is a popular guy who enjoys his spare time, especially going to pubs and dancing with the ladies. It’s light and funny a lot of the time and Shane’s own thoughts about drinking before going out are comical, probably the norm, these days, which is not so amusing. Today, it is becoming more common for 20 or 30 somethings to stay living at home or return to live with parents after university, due to lack of finances to move out or poor job prospects to sustain a decent living. Therefore, taking any job to earn a bit and then spend it on immediate fun becomes a release on a Friday night, and a welcome change from the day to day routine.

Compellingly acted, Cartwright is well cast – he’s the boy next door. Pretty believable, Cartwright is dynamic, gets into the physical action of the character in the pubs and clubs, playing directly to the audience. It’s an entertaining play based on a typical character of today doing typical things on a Friday night. Given all it’s very positive elements, the play did not draw me in as much as it could have. The script could benefit from additional depth and development of the emotional arc of the character – then the actor would have the opportunity to be even more emotionally invested through to the end.