Eye Candy For Mojo

Mojo is the first play Jez Butterworth wrote. It is currently on show at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London. The cast is made up of an illustrious list of young actors. Colin Morgan, Ben Wishaw, and Rupert Grint are the names most leaping out. The play is more limping than leaping. The eye candy factor is definitely more powerful than the script.

Ben Wishaw




Ian Rickson directs the revival of Mojo at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London. The play was first performed in 1995 and got favorable reviews then. It was Jez Butterworth's first play to come to the stage and critics seemed to find it new, dark, and raw. Meanwhile, he wrote Jerusalem proving he can do better. More generous critics claim that the brilliance of Jerusalem takes the shine out of Mojo. I rather surmise that Jez Butterworth would be just as happy if we forgot his first try and concentrated on the better stuff. Mojo just isn't good enough to be an evergreen.

The cast on the other hand is working overtime to save the day. It doesn't show; there is no pressure to be felt when they squeeze the play for its last drop of juice. Ben Wishaw is brilliant as a borderline psychotic son of a nightclub owner. Rupert Grint holds the stage as a drug addled fool and is rock solid in his first stage performance ever. Colin Morgan preforms to his usual high standards. 

Mojo is set in the SoHo of the fifties peopled by young drug dealers and consumers thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs. The abundance of profanity doesn't help the play to gain speed, depth, or brilliance. The exercise in depravity and treachery becomes an exercise in patience for the audience waiting for the next climax that always takes too long to build up. For me, the play felt old, grey, and half cooked. 

Should you go and see it? If you are going because you want to see a good play: No. If you are going because you want to see good acting: Yes. I leave it to you to decide. For me, the good acting outweighed the mediocre play and I didn't rue the time spent there. I wouldn't go a second time, though.

Further reading
Daniel Radcliffe Crippled on 24th Birthday
Richard Wagner's Tanhäuser
Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde


Ben Wishaw

Colin Morgan

Colin Morgan and Bradley James

Ben Wishaw

Colin Morgan

Rupert Grint

Rupert Grint