RAZ at the Trafalgar Studios
It’s Friday, and Shane is getting ready for another booze and drug-fueled night. By day, he lives with his parents and works at a dead-end job, but come Friday he’s a “weekend millionaire”, dressed to impress and eager to blow through his meagre wages.
Shane first makes his appearance wearing Superman briefs in a tanning booth, where he bakes for exactly nine minutes in order to be a golden god by the time he’s out on the town. Once home, he primps and makes the necessary calls to his friends, the “birds” and the drug dealer, setting up the night starting at the local pub and moving on to the clubs. Drugs are plenty and Shane has the perfect formula for how to navigate the various highs for the ideal experience.
From their first pints at the Rose, Shane and his mates engage in banter and debauchery. Throughout the play, James morphs to deliver lines of his offstage cast members with grace, in part thanks to the playwright’s ability to flesh out conversational intricacies in the script. It’s easily believable thanks to the excellent lighting and sound coordination, which is so good it almost provides another actor on stage. Cartwright perfectly depicts Shane’s tendency for escapism, the desperation with which he seeks fulfillment by chasing the next high, effectively numbing himself to feelings and the actuality of his situation. When he thinks he spots his ex-girlfriend in the same club, the lads are by his side with more pills to pop, ready to help him forget his worries.
Anthony Banks’ direction takes the audience with Shane on his trip, and they too feel the comedown when the artificial euphoria starts to wear out and the hangover sets in. RAZ is a poignant reflection on the harsh reality facing today’s young adult generation. It’s profound and at times dark, but entertaining throughout the entire 50-minute run.
Raz is on at the Trafalgar Studios from 22nd March until 16th April. Book your tickets here.
Watch the trailer for Raz here: