What’s it all about?
First performed in 1996 at the Royal Court, Shopping And F**king was the explosive first full-length play by Mark Ravenhill. The play is centred on three young adults who have become disconnected from society with every one of their interactions reduced to a transaction – holding a distorted mirror up to a society in which everything has a price. Shopping And F**king, which is rarely performed, is an aggressive and powerful exploration of consumerism and sexuality. Lyric Hammersmith, under director Sean Holmes, has revived and revitalised this import piece of ‘90s theatre with its message ringing more true and louder than ever before
Who’s in it?
The central characters are played by Alex Arnold (Robbie), Sam Spruell (Mark) and Sophie Wu (Lulu) who bring an earnestness and believability, even as they debase and degrade themselves in the pursuit of cash, to characters that could easily appear so unlikeable.
Ashley McGuire superlative as Brian, a menacing messianic figure who commands the stage whenever she appears, always in complete control of the other characters and the audience. Rounding off the cast is David Moorst as the young prostitute Gary, played with a devastating sense of hopelessness, seemingly predestined to self-destruct.
What should I look out for?
Lyric Hammersmith has been transformed into something resembling a lurid TV set with bright lights and huge screens; you are drawn to the stage and cannot avert your gaze.
What’s being said on Twitter?
— Billy Matthews (@billymatthws) October 13, 2016
— Alun Hood (@alunjohnhood) October 12, 2016
— Rebecca Hearn (@elhearnio) October 12, 2016
In a nutshell?
Biting, violent and darkly comic, Shopping And F***king has been reborn as a 21st century spectacle, a sharply pointed comment on society.
Visit the venue’s website for tickets.