Razing Eddie is a strangely moral, high octane drama that frequently beggars belief. In part that is because two of the characters are ghosts.
Philip Stokes has become a Fringe favourite over the years with his brand of Yorkshire post-In-Yer-Face Theatre and this play fits the genre perfectly.
Its central figure is a born again hooligan, Eddie played with great commitment by Lee Bainbridge. After four years in jail, the unswerving Leeds fan tries to pick up with old flame Shauna, Chloe Mylonas.
She has moved on to bigger and better things but still cannot quite let go. Things are complicated by the presence of the two ghosts.
Aiden Ross’s sky-high Billy was Eddie’s loutish protégé until the latter stabbed him for reasons that become all too apparent.
Gemma, portrayed classily by Jess Heritage, is as guilty a presence for Shauna, being her aborted daughter.
Completing the picture is Kirsty Green playing bible-spouting Kara, a not too believable character who drifts in and out of the drama.
Razing Eddie has rather too many rough edges and the excessive shouting from all on stage can be a bit wearing in such a small space.
At its best though, this is a tender drama about a deeply unpleasant man and the people whose lives he has wrecked, directly and less so.
The play once again confirms the promise of Philip Stokes and it is high time that London theatres begin to pay him due attention.
Reviewer: Philip Fisher