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The Motherf**ker With The Hat

First Published 18 June 2015, Last Updated 18 June 2015

What’s it all about?

New York, three apartments, two couples, one cousin hiding a guy, more addictions than a Betty Ford clinic and one motherf**ker whose hat leads this already bubbling hot pot of tension, passion and temptation to boil over and shake the foundations of every dysfunctional relationship laid out before us.

It’s witty, sharp and resists the urge to fall into “edgy” territory with a copious dose of bare-faced, sometimes excruciatingly painful, sometimes excruciatingly hilarious humanity.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ zinger of a comedy is about f**king up, getting up, brushing yourself off and doing it all over again.

Who’s in it?

Ricardo Chavira swaps the manicured lawns of Desperate Housewives for a shabby, Times Square studio; unrecognisable as Jackie, a determined but misguided recovering alcoholic on probation whose entanglement with his wisecracking, cocaine-snorting high school girlfriend means trouble is never far away.

Why would you stay with such a woman if you’re looking to get back on the straight and narrow? Flor De Liz Perez shows you exactly why with her hilarious, sassy and gloriously witty performance as Veronica. Jittery, aggressive and yet somehow endearingly lovely, Perez delivers Veronica’s acid-fuelled comebacks and breathless rants with absolute zeal.

Alec Newman and Nathalie Armin bring more spice to the pot as Jackie’s sanctimonious, soya-loving sponsor and his embittered wife, while Yul Vazquez near steals the show as the camp, calm Cousin Julio, playing the oddball with a deadpan elegance reminiscent of the great Robin Williams.

What should I look out for?

Robert Jones’ design. Set pieces fly on and off the stage in noisy, rock and roll scene changes as we move between three Manhattan apartments that slot between iconic New York walk-up stairs.

Veronica’s opening phone call to her mother that sets the tone of the piece as she scolds her for drinking before pausing to do a line of coke, blissfully unaware of the irony.

In a nutshell?

Akin to watching the sharpest of sitcoms with an extra bite of painfully well observed humanity, Indhu Rubasingham’s production of The Motherf**ker With The Hat is a f**king zinger of a triumph.

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Will I like it?

The name gives a bit of a clue here, if you’re offended by expletives – especially when used in relation to nuns… – this isn’t going to be your bag. For everyone else, it’s a fast paced, sexy, superbly written and beautifully measured treat. Just leave your headwear at home, there’s nothing more annoying than having to sit behind a mother**ker in a hat.

The Motherf**ker With The Hat is playing at the National Theatre Lyttelton until 20 August. You can book tickets through us here.


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