(Lyn Gardner’s review appeared in the Guardian, 9/11.)

The good boy and the outlaw square up to each other and the result is not pretty in Sam Shepard’s 1980 play. It gets a searingly good – and often very funny – revival by Phillip Breen, which arrives at the Tricycle by way of Glasgow’s Citizens theatre.

Eugene O’Hare brings just the right touch of Ivy League prissiness to Austin, a young, ambitious screenwriter on the verge of his first big success who is holed up in his mother’s Hollywood home. But the quiet is shattered by the unexpected arrival of Austin’s drifter brother, Lee, a petty thief fresh from the Mojave desert. There is something wonderfully feral about Alex Ferns’s performance, suggesting that Lee has been pulled through a cactus backwards and that the cactus won. More frightening is his violence, which erupts like an unpredictable volcano and brings chaos in its wake.


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