Royal Court Theatre, London ★★★★✩
MEET Sasha. She’s 24, unemployed and lives in Plaistow with her mum and stepdad, whom she loathes. Her boyfriend Anton has stopped taking her calls, and her dreams of making it as a singer are just that.
The outlook is about to get worse: her mum is moving to Kent and thinks Sasha needs to stand on her own two feet. Sasha finds herself homeless and friendless, so when glamorous Carli suggests she try webcam work, she reluctantly agrees.
This is a terrific piece by rising star Nicole Lecky, full of wit, truth and blazing feeling. Sasha’s aggro posturing and mouthy swagger conceal a quicksilver perceptiveness and emotional fragility. Lecky brings every contradiction to rich and resonant life.
As Sasha gets mired in escort culture, raking in hundreds yet no closer to securing her dream, her story touches on big subjects with impressive lightness: sexual abuse, the experience of racial otherness and the vulnerability of a generation with few job prospects and fewer safety nets.
Jade Lewis’s finely paced production keeps it simple, understanding that the less distraction from Lecky’s full-throttle performance, accompanied by music co-written with The Last Skeptik, the better. Smart, of the moment, and very funny.