Get our free email newsletter with just one click

Brilliant Jerks review at Vaults, London – ‘authoritative and exhilarating’

Brilliant Jerks at Vault Festival, London Brilliant Jerks at Vault Festival, London
by -

No one mentions the name, but we all know what this is about – a taxi-hailing app, that’s revolutionised transportation, growing from an idea in the mind of an American entrepreneur into the world’s most successful start-up. A multi-billion dollar tech giant in over 600 cities worldwide.

Joseph Charlton’s authoritative play Brilliant Jerks tells the story of how it got there, warts and all. Interweaving three narratives – a driver in Manchester struggling with her past, a coder in London struggling with his present, and a CEO in America (Tyler Janowski… hmm) struggling with his gigantic, masculine ego – this three hander elegantly and exhilarating looks underneath the bonnet, and what it finds ain’t pretty.

The sheer scope of Charlton’s play is thrilling – jumping from the streets of rainy Manchester, to poolside parties in Vegas, to Silicon Valley boardrooms, it intimately explores the rise of a tech giant, uncovering both the cut-throat competitiveness and the misogynist work ethos that drove it.

Rosy Banham’s production for Lipsink – the company behind Hear Me Raw – is no less exciting. Chris Withers’ lighting powerfully evokes the seductive, neon-lit decadence of big business. The three superbly naturalistic, role-hopping performers swerve around each other like colleagues in a corridor. Mona Goodwin and Donal Gallery are both excellent, but it’s Luke Thompson’s supremely punchable, utterly charming Tyler that impresses most.

There’s more than a hint of The Social Network here. A really slick, intelligent play that’ll be a 2018 fringe hit. Uber-good.

Hear Me Raw review at Underbelly, Edinburgh – ‘astute takedown of the wellness industry’


We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
An authoritative and exhilarating three-hander about the rise of a Silicon Valley giant