Nitro by Lewis McCutcheon (Glass Knuckles Productions: theSpace on the Mile)

New writing by Lewis McCutcheon, proves yet again his talent for interesting characters, witty one-liners and dark twists.

A sofa etched with political slogans, swear words and phallic objects sits imposingly on the stage, giving us a hint of what’s in store. The foul-mouthed, edgy students do not disappoint. The cool one, the political geek, the emo, the weirdo, the goody-two-shoes and the skinhead. This was like ‘The Breakfast Club’ on crack. Or perhaps a darker version of ‘The Young Ones’. Especially with Rex (played expertly by John Gerard Crossan), like a Vyvyan Basterd but with more swearing and racial slurs.

This mishmash of characters have one thing is common, in that they are all art students. Pushed together into a dingy flat, they must complete another boring uni project. This study group takes a sinister turn however, when they become inspired to do something different, archaic, and dangerous.

With mosh pits, Davina McCall, farts during sex, homemade bombs and Union Jack boxers, the play is full to the brim with humour and excitement. Don’t assume this is yet another tired trope of the angry yet immature student; this is much more intelligent.

McCutcheon’s writing is full of little gems and brutal put downs; such as ‘self-pity makes you unf**kable’ and ‘you’re as edgy as a bouncy castle’. Lines are mirrored throughout and everything is said for a reason. There are also moments of intellectual discussion amongst all the swearing and dark humour. When these young twenty-somethings can question the modern world. The advancement in technology and what that means for humanity’s sick obsession with destruction.

This strong ensemble played to their strengths and embodied their characters effortlessly. Andrew Bilbie’s awkward physicality and Catriona Bone’s take-no-s**t attitude were particularly hilarious and on-point. Despite the great performance, I felt Nick’s character was slightly underdeveloped. I wanted to find out with drove him. Perhaps without a restrictive time slot there could be room to explore more. If I’m honest I would happily watch a prequel of Nitro, the character were all so interesting I want to see more of them.

If you love explosive, dark comedies with lots of swearing and filth. This is the show for you.


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Rhona Mackay

Rhona Mackay

A 23 year old, working as an actor, writer and director. Born in Glasgow and moved to Edinburgh five years ago to study Acting and English at Edinburgh Napier.
Rhona Mackay

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