An award-winning British play comes to Off-Broadway's MCC Theater featuring the young star of the hit film "Manchester By The Sea". It's called "Yen" and here's Roma Torre with the review. 

“Yen” at the Lucille Lortel Theater is a disturbing British drama that has the courage of its convictions to be as brazenly bleak as a play can be. That said MCC Theater is delivering a powerful production bristling with high energy and bravura performances. And if that’s your cup of tea, you’re in for a bloody good time.

Sixteen-year-old Hench and his hyperactive 14-year-old brother Bobbie are glued to a TV streaming pornography. They’ve been abandoned it seems, sharing a single shirt and living on stolen food. Their neglectful mother, with problems of her own, makes infrequent visits. There’s also a dog named Taliban who we hear but never see. He's neglected too, locked in a bedroom - apparently starving in his own filth. 

They are true lost boys...warped by arrested development...craving maternal love. Into this den of dysfunction comes Jennifer, an animal-loving neighbor who brings a ray of hope for all three of them.

Playwright Anna Jordan is unflinching in her portrayal of a wretched British family drowning in a pit of despair. But Jordan and her ace director Trip Cullman somehow manage to inject enough humanity to make us care about these deplorables.

And Ari Graynor, playing the worst of them, impressively keeps this mother from hell from being a total lost cause. All three of the young actors are terrific as well. Stefania LaVie Owen softens the stone cold play with her genuine warmth. Justice Smith literally bounces off the walls in an utterly convincing performance as the deeply disturbed Bobbie. And Lucas Hedges, so memorable in “Manchester By The Sea,” makes a remarkable stage debut as a disaffected teen tragically deprived of his youth. 

This is not an easy play to watch or hear. The dialect is a challenge…and the violence quotient is enough to turn off the faint of heart. Hard to love certainly, but given such a gutsy production, it’s equally hard to turn away.