MOJO by jez butterworth
In 2017, Patalog Collective presented its debut theatrical production and the Melbourne premiere of Jez Butterworth’s brutally funny journey through the seedy, amphetamine-fuelled, Rock’n’Roll underbelly of 1950s London. Mojo follows a hapless gang of would-be gangsters, seduced by the promise of fame and fortune, fighting for control of the next big Rock’n’Roll sensation, teenage singer, Silver Johnny.
At face value, Mojo by Jez Butterworth is simply a fast paced dark comedy; pure entertainment so to speak. However, underneath the dense dialogue and claustrophobic setting, Butterworth’s subtext is laced with homoerotic undertones and subtle critiques of masculinity. Throughout the play, the audience gradually sees through the ensemble's seemingly meaningless banter, and finds themselves presented with a unique exploration into masculinity and the vulnerabilities of brotherhood. Ultimately, as the gang’s circumstances become increasingly dire, their personal façades crumble, leaving all the characters totally exposed. The stereotypical gangster trope ‘damsel in distress’ undergoes a gender inversion as these men grapple with the flaws and fragilities of their feigned manliness. Mojo allowed us to share intimate insights into the complexities of modern masculinity all in very accessible context of a hilarious, albeit arguably terrifying night at the theatre.
6th - 10th of June, 2017 at The Irene Mitchel Studio, St Martins Arts Centre
Directed and produced by Ben Walter
Designed by Dann Barber
Costumes from Janne Barber
Lighting Design by Caitlyn Staples.
Tom Jones as Potts
Mark Yeates as Sweets
Ben Walter as Baby
Vinnie Attanasio as Skinny
David John Watton as Mickey
Sam Hunt as Silver Johnny