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Published on Thursday, 25 August 2011

4 stars

Zoo (venue website)
5-25 Aug, 9:30pm-10:55pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

 Recommended for age 14+ only.

Jez Butterworth’s Mojo is set in the back room of a 1950s nightclub in Soho. As a meeting concerning the club’s new-found star, Silver Johnny, takes place, the rest of the employees – high on pills and rock-and-roll – are all after a piece of the action.

The whole team offer strong performances, and expertly bring out the humour and the tension of the script. The well-cast ensemble crafted some electric moments, working excellently together throughout.

Matt Malthy’s direction has created some natural scenes and a dynamic stage picture – though considering the space’s difficult sight lines, more might be done to ensure that any of the crucial action isn’t missed.

The play is an intense experience, and although generally well paced, did feel slightly overlong. A demanding piece, the cast understandably seemed to tire a little towards the end.

All the same, Mojo is impossible not to get caught up in. Darkly comic and skilfully performed, this is a powerful piece of theatre. 

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