Many plays assert their own grittiness; ‘Thugz N Tearz’ doesn’t need to try (let’s ignore the naff title). This production is innately gritty in a way that few other performances could be, especially in the Festival enclave of the middle classes. Indeed, ‘Thugz’ is a seriously brave production: a dark urban tragedy concerning the machinations of the ‘under classes’. The acting is almost uniformly outstanding; Wahab Sheikh (who also wrote the play), Adam Bacon and Ese Ighorae are exceptional. The darkness of the urban humour is sometimes lost on an audience that seems too anxious to chuckle, but ‘Thugz’ is perhaps bravest for depicting life a million miles away from most of its audience, who may even be from London, but not this London.
Zoo Roxy, 5 – 29 Aug, 8.15pm (9.25pm), £8.00 – £10.00, fpp303.
tw rating 4/5