The weekend starts with a spray tan! Or so we are led to believe by Shane, wearing nothing other than a pair of underpants and an impressive six-pack, the protagonist of this one man play by Jim Cartwright and played by his son James Cartwright. Funny and observational in equal measure this wry critique of the weekend millionaires who still live with their parents but even more for the weekend when they can abandon all thoughts of their mundane jobs-Shane is a stacker trucker- and abandon their selves to full on hedonism , sex drugs, alcohol, as a means of blotting it all out. It is also a highly political work with barbed comments aimed at a government and system which keeps people firmly in their place as dictated by those in power.
Cartwright has captured perfectly a generation of male thirty somethings and their frustration at being unable to progress in the world in the way their parents did in this drama. The fact their ambition has been replaced by a desire to incorporate as many of life’s experiences into their weekend routines is testament to this.
Thus we see Shane finish work on a Friday then after the obligatory spray tan there are the many calls and texts to be answered from his usual sources, the women lined up, the speed drinking to be embarked on, the clubs to frequent and the drugs to be consumed. It is a hollow existence which is only exacerbated by the feeling something is missing and when he spots his ex at a late point in the evening this is hammered home even more as he realises he loves her and this is something that can’t be replaced by any amount of stimulants, alcohol or random sex acts.
James Cartwright does an exceptional job here of portraying Shane. At a time of year when one man shows are rife ‘Raz’ stands head and shoulders above the rest and is definitely an incisive and insightful performance of exceptionally clever and thought-provoking material. Just don’t forget the spray tan!
Raz is at Assembly Studio George Square at 4pm until August 31st(not 24th)