Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Drunken Revelry Is Painful to Watch; Theatre

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Drunken Revelry Is Painful to Watch; Theatre

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA MOUNTFORD

RED BUD Royal Court Upstairs, SW1 A WINNING run can't last for ever. After the Royal Court's superlative recent sequence of Spur of the Moment, Clybourne Park, Wanderlust and Tribes, this week's new writing accolades belong somewhere other than Sloane Square. The theme of a fractious reunion of old friends is hackneyed enough in drama but as the Court itself proved with The Priory last Christmas, it can easily go with much more of a bang than this.

Jason, Bill, Shane and Greg, all teetering uneasily on the brink of middle age, have been coming to the annual Red Bud motocross championships in Michigan since they were in high school. This "party and race combo" camping weekend used to be the high point of their year but things, necessarily, have changed.

Jason has lost his job and had to sell his tent and Greg now has a pregnant wife, awkwardly and teetotally along for the ride too this time.

When Bill's new 19-year-old girlfriend Jana (a nicely worldweary Isabel Ellison) suggests a game of "shooters and hits" -- that's whisky and dope to the rest of us -- to kick things off, trouble can only be a mere tent peg away. …

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