Part of FringeNYC: Set in a dilapidated trailer in a Southern town, Scratching is a millennial drama about the lives of two blue-collar brothers whose pasts and futures intersect, causing a downward spiral of drugs, violence, illegal tattoos, unrequited love and the chance for redemption.Read more Show less
See it if You want a new voice wrestling with the gravitational forces of ambition and comfort in the heightened world of drugs, tattoos & stripping.
Don't see it if Confrontation puts you on edge or extreme gestures disturb you.
See it if It had good acting and there was a convincing chemistry.
Don't see it if The backstory of the quartet's history and relationships was somewhat contrived.
"In Britton Buttrill's intermittently engaging but overwritten 'Scratching,' a deeper kind of damage has settled in long before needle gets put to skin…Mandwelle’s fluid staging balances the intersecting story lines effectively, and the actors have authentic chemistry, but their scenes sometimes get stuck on single notes of anger. Everyone in the play is desperately trying to exorcise demons, yet too often their pain seems only skin deep."
"The play is a dark piece with moments of compassion that seem unexpected for these characters. Although the tension builds throughout, it perhaps doesn't escalate enough to create real intrigue and excitement. The characters are also somewhat superficially written, and while the actors do their best to embody three-dimensional people, the plot needs something more to transport us inside the world of these desperate lives."
"It is difficult to care for these four self-destructive characters who have no clue who they are or where they are going or when they are being objectified. Their lives are beyond hope and there is no chance of a redemptive catharsis at the end of this misbegotten play. The actors do what they can with the script with seemingly little help from director Miles Mandwelle. The whole ordeal is far too long, extended by a meaningless and gratuitous sex scene."
"Buttrill tries to conceive an innovative story that gets wrapped up in grit and language. The underdog-type story never quite takes off once the downward spiral begins. And that’s what sets 'Scratching' back. Finding a way to, as they say, flip the script, will make Buttrill’s story worthwhile to tell. It’s a millennial tale with a timeless sensibility. And that’s interesting. But with the characters written as they are, there’s nothing unique about it."