Review: Yen off Broadway1 min read



Lucas Hedges, Ari Graynor, Justice Smith. Photo by Joan Marcus.


I knew it was going to have a bite.  This play falls in a genre of young playwrights, British this time, who write about dysfunctional youth, lost and uncared for, failed by their care givers and the system, acting out, living in squaller.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  The edginess of Anna Jordan’s Yen is blasted at you from the moment you walk in. The loud and frenetic projected video speaks volumes about what this play is going to feel like, but I wasn’t prepared for the disturbing sting and the quiet depressing view of these uncared for teen boys. And maybe the piece of hope, I don’t think I was ready for that either.

The boys, aged 14 and 16, live in a dingy council flat in England (great work by: scenic design: Mark Wendland; costumes: Paloma Young; lighting: Ben Stanton; projection: Lucy Mackinnon) and rarely ever leave. They survive on a diet of stolen food scraps, violent video games, and adult flics barely seen by their alcoholic self absorbed mother. They are as poorly treated as the mother’s dog, Taliban, that is also abandoned by her, shut up in the other room, barking and starving for food and affection.


Ari Graynor, Lucas Hedges. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Directed by Trip Cullman, these boys are poorly treated animals.  Owned by their messed up mother, but not cared for.  Housed but not fed nor loved. For the Full Review: click here

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