Unless we’re very much mistaken (and it has been known), ‘Top Boy’ is going to end very badly for almost everyone. Dushane (Ashley Walters) is tangling with some big fish and will surely be compromised by his fling with hot solicitor Rhianna (Lorraine Burroughs). Sully (Kane Robinson) and the idiotic Mike are drifting way out of their depth, making mortal enemies out of old friends as they go. And poor Ra’Nell (Malcolm Kamulete) will surely be obliged to intervene to get the dealers off the hapless Gem’s back. We also predict a pivotal – and possibly bloody – role for the young scamp who swiped Sully’s phone.
The sense of foreboding hangs heavily and occasionally almost self-parodically, but the performances are never less than fiercely committed. The looming threat of property developers, meanwhile, makes for an intriguing subplot as well as intensifying the sense that, ultimately, these characters have only a limited control over their own fates.
Mac and Wild
Veniphobia. It’s not an official phobia, like arachnophobia, agoraphobia or my personal favourite, omphalophobia (the fear of belly buttons). But it should be. We all know someone who suffers from it: an irrational fear of venison. Mac & Wild is the cure. A cosy Fitzrovia newcomer with a Scottish heart, it specialises in wild deer that has none of the off-putting ‘gaminess’ people associate with venison -- it also happens to be mind-bogglingly tender. Most of the meat comes from co-owner Andy Waugh’s father’s estate, the rest from other trusted highland hunters, all of whom use state-of-the-art refrigeration techniques. On our visit we watched a waiter convince a table of fashionistas to go for venison, rather than beef chateaubriand: ‘if you don’t like it, I’ll take it off the bill.’ They devoured every morsel. Mac & Wild’s origins date back to 2010, when Waugh drove down to Borough Market with a van-load of raw deer meat. This led to him selling venison-based street food (as ‘The Wild Game Co’) at markets and pub residencies, before finally opening a 2014 pop-up. It was so popular that within weeks Waugh and his team were looking for a permanent site. The result: Mac & Wild, a stylish place filled with rough-hewn wood tables, bare bricks, and modish lighting. The Scandi-leaning Scottish food it serves (the chef is Danish) is mostly sensational. In addition to terrific venison ‘steak frites’ (£11) and order-by-weight chateaubriand, there are beefy alternatives
Venue says: “Bottomless brunch every Saturday and Sunday, 11am-4pm at Mac & Wild Fitzrovia; £21 per person for unlimited brunch cocktails!”