Lash ★★★★

Lash is a one-man play exploring the joys and perils of going ‘out’ out.

Marrying an exploration of the ‘larging it’ mentality with a skewering of toxic masculinity, acclaimed playwright, Philip Stokes, brings his latest piece of solo theatre to the Fringe. Working as a companion piece to last year’s award-winning Jesus, Jane, Mother and Me, Lash analyses the consequences of a failed father/son relationship through the journey of one young lad’s thrill-seeking night out.


Sonny works in a joyless call-centre job and lives for the weekend. He goes ‘out’ out on a Friday, taking in the clubs and all the characters a busy Northern town street has to offer. He’s an ultra lad but one with a real heart beating, and it’s an invigorating ride as he navigates the music, the friends and the dodgy individuals he encounters.

All images by Craig Lomas

The dexterity on display in Stokes’ script is never less than impressive and is frequently dazzling. Soundbites and soliloquies all collide as reflections on what it means to be both a man and a hedonist in a post-pandemic and post-Brexit world are offered. The set and sound design by Craig Lomas brilliantly capture the adrenaline rush Sonny is restlessly seeking. 

If there’s one criticism here, it’s that it’s sometimes a little difficult to keep up. While you’re still absorbing one element of the narrative, you can miss another. This can be a little exhausting rather than thrilling. But maybe that’s the point. A night out like Sonny’s would take in both, and everything in-between. 

Of course, a one-man play rests and falls on the strength of the lead actor. Jack Stokes, winner of Theatre Weekly Award for Best Solo performer at last year’s Fringe, is note perfect for the entire hour, reaching an emotional conclusion as he faces down his mortality, his wasted opportunities and that relationship with his father. 

Stokes’ committed and bold performance powers this exhilarating examination of lad culture, ensuring that Lash is well worth going out out for. 

Live it large on the Lash – ★★★★

Lash Tickets

Lash runs at Pleasance Courtyard - Bunker Three

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