Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Wherever I lay my hat: The Motherfucker With The Hat @NationalTheatre #Mofohat


Addiction, sex, rehab and other filthy words make up this high energy play by Stephen Adly Guirgis which has been running since June at the National Theatre… The Motherfucker With The Hat has potentially been a drawback as a title since it prevents people from fully explaining the play and what it is about in so-called family or decent publications. But my blog is not one of those.

Jackie, a small time (and not very good) dope dealer is just out of jail and he has got a job, he is sober and his life is looking up. He is about to catch up with his girlfriend for and afternoon of sex, when he notices a hat in the room. It’s a man’s hat and it is not his. He checks the hat. He smells the hat. He checks the unmade bed and then he smells the bed...

For the next one hour forty-five minutes as his life unravels, there are a series of hilarious scenes and interplay between the characters on stage. And an awful lot of filthy words. It is a terrific cast although you get the sense it must be a lot of fun to play such highly strung yet unique characters.


Ricardo Chavira as Jackie brings to life a wonderful character full of contradictions and torn between his sponsor and his girlfriend. Flor De Liz Perez as his girlfriend Veronica gets one of the best laughs as she is telling her mum over the phone to get into rehab as she snorts lines of coke off the table.

Yul Vázquez as Cousin Julio is hilarious with his calm exterior and threatening to go Van Damme on Jackie’s sponsor (played by Alec Newman) if necessary.

Given its frequency of use, after seeing the play it had me wondering about the origin and purpose of the word “motherfucker”. Apart from having no literal meaning, there does seem to be a consensus that it appeared frequently after the two World Wars and that it is a separate word to fuck given the rhythm and energy it has to it. Perhaps it is time to remove the asterisks and the mofo hashtags and just let it all hang out there... It has been used enough...


The Motherfucker With The Hat runs until 20 August.

Photos: production photos by Mark Douet