In Off the Endz, Sharon (Lorraine Burroughs) is a hard-working nurse living with well-intentioned, aspirational businessman Kojo (Daniel Francis), whose best mate David (Ashley Walters), a habitual offender and Sharon’s former boyfriend, has just come out of prison. David is a foul-mouthed, abusive scumbag, with Neanderthal social attitudes and a leech-like dependency on his friends’ hospitality. Jeremy Herrin directs.
Overnight critics were somewhat divided as to whether Off the Endz matches Agbaje’s earlier plays Gone Too Far! and Detaining Justice (at the Tricycle last year) – while some considered it “another ace play”, others found it “naïve” and overly “schematic” – but they agreed that Agbaje, aged 29, remains an “extraordinary natural talent” with “a terrific future”. Here, her work benefits from Herrin’s “brisk” and “expertly acted” production, with Ashley Walters’ “incorrigibly cocky” and “blistering” performance as David a particular standout.