Cat Jones' Glory Dazed is a stunningly intense and brilliantly paced tale of an ex-soldier who is haunted by his experiences in Afghanistan. Now back home in Doncaster, he's caught in cycle of drink and violence.
Ray (Samuel Edward-Cook) drunkenly bursts his way into his former best friend Simon's pub, demanding to see his ex-wife Carla (Chloe Massey) who works there. He's full of rage, regret and is spattered with another man's blood.
The play follows the events of the evening as Ray and Simon (Adam Foster) clash over Simon's new relationship with Carla as well as issues surrounding the UK's ongoing presence in Afghanistan.
Jones' script is at times harrowing and at others blackly comic. The loves, losses and tensions of Simon, Ray and Carla are sharply contrasted to the naive and youthful interjections of Leanne (Kristin Atherton), a barmaid in the pub who is an innocent bystander caught in the crossfire.
At just an hour in length without an interval, Glory Dazed is a visceral explosion of thought provoking content that grabs you by the scruff of the neck and doesn't let go. It's well observed, believable and intensely raw in its portrayal of the impacts of war on the psyche of an individual.
The greatest strength of the performance is the characterisation of the four players who work together superbly to give authenticity and grit to Jones' dialogue.
Glory Dazed is on at Soho Theatre at 7.15pm every day except Sunday until 11 May. Tickets cost £10-£15.
Londonist received complementary tickets to review this show.