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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.