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Review: Fog

Finborough Theatre, London SW10

    In Toby Wharton and Tash Fairbanks's new drama, Wharton plays the eponymous Fog, who could easily have been a looter on London's streets during last year's riots.

    He is in his late teens, carries a knife, deals in drugs and has moved into a high-rise with his father, Cannon (Victor Gardener), an ex-soldier. The reunion follows years of Cannon's absence, during which Fog's mother died and Fog was sent into care.

    It may sound like old-fashioned sink-estate drama, but in Ché Walker's tight production, Wharton's portrait of a teenager, whose gangsta identity has been constructed out of emotional rubble, is utterly convincing - the most moving and nuanced performance I can remember in a long time. Wharton intimately knows the street language through which Fog expresses rage, threat and bravado, but which leaves him wordless when it comes to expressing anything else.

    The subplot, which sees Fog's black friend, Michael, set to leave the estate for Oxford, feels over-egged. But there is real craft in this writing collaboration between the 27-year-old Wharton and the sixtysomething Fairbanks.

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